Wellington Postcard review by Katy Corner        New Zealand Artnews

Victor Berezovsky, 'Splinter', Mary Newton Gallery (19 Aug - 12 Sept 09) and 'Portal', Freyberg Pool mural (until c. 2012)

For the next few years, Wellingtonians can enjoy Victor Berezovsky's mural 'Portal' on the fa┴ade of the Freyberg Pool. Working with empathy for the heritage building's modernist aspirations, he has given this prime spot on the harbour an uplifting sense of renewal and wonder. The clouded port holes which dot the building's exterior have been animated by colour and precise form, seeming to join in the energy of swimmers, joggers and strollers passing by.

'Splinter' was the title of Berezovsky's knockout exhibition at Mary Newton Gallery (19 Aug - 12 Sept). His work over the past 10 years has included site-specific murals, installations, painted ceramics and drawings. For these dozen large sculptural paintings, smooth plywood was the base material. In some, wooden objects were embedded (ie: parts from a child's Humdinger set), holes were drilled, and the surface was attacked in innumerable ways.

Paint and leaves of precious metals were layered, covered over and resurrected; their accrued weight can be felt. Circular discs were sectioned and overlapped by sharp angles; layers of soft blue-greys gave blood reds their ultimate boost. Slivers of gold glinted from raw, scraped wood and pronged shapes converged, merged or darted away as if repelled by magnetic force.

"The surface tells a story," said Berezovsky, and as he experimented with it, a fluid, living history was revealed. There is reason to the marks he selects, coming from an inner world rather than gleaned from external trivia. Along with their assurance and power, these works have a playful, direct energy acquired through discipline.

Berezovsky has the confidence of strong roots and his visual language is condensed, enriched by consideration. He said, "I'm interested in the bigger notion of history and the way it unfolds and what you do to navigate it. It is about the journey, the struggle, splintering and shattering things. It's the containment ... between having it and wanting it."



ęcopyright Victor Berezovsky 2006-2017