Rachel Rovay


Coffee With Van Gogh
Coffee with Van Gogh
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board

120 cm x 180 cm, 2016

Billboard Bunny
Billboard Bunny
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board

116 cm x 170 cm, 2016

Coffee Tribe
Coffee Tribe
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board, 89 cm x 112 cm, 2016

Double Parked
Double Parked
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board, 115 cm x 178 cm, 2016

Footpath Foliage
Footpath Foliage
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board

86.5 cm x 120 cm, 2016

Rail Bike Ring
Rail Bike Ring
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board, 90 cm x 120 cm, 2016

Walking the Dog
Walking the Dog
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board, 74 cm x 115 cm, 2016

Time Tables Four (1)
Times Table Four
, acrylic paint on shaped cut-out panel board

117 cm x 180 cm, 2016

Artist Statement

My current body of work, the Take a Seat series, introduces my cut-out panel paintings, which are informed by color, shape, and an object — like quality — taken all the way to the edges. I have left behind the rectangle!

When the rectangle is cut with an electric router, it undergoes a moment of transformation through the power of change. As if by magic, the edges absorb and redefine.

I use a palette of saturated primary colors to isolate hues, creating a bold presence. Black outlines carve and segregate the pure color from grisaille, creating a striking contrast. I load impasto paint onto the surface with a pallet knife, scraping back other parts of the paintings with an electric sander. Thin layers of paint allow the original surface to be revealed. The content eventually pulsates in unity.

Color is a vehicle for expression, and it is a dominant feature of each of my artworks.

By moving away from the Salon painting genre, I have discovered a new process of expression, and have become interested in new materials, new tools, and a new transformation of value.

My imagery is inspired by spaces in our urban environment and our experience of the everyday. Works take shape and form through a collision of order and disorder. The cut-out paintings’ urbanscape sensibility is as important as their irregular, outer dimension, their composition expanding viewers’ experience beyond the works’ edges. Inside (image) and outside (picture contour) are created on the same terms.

With this recent work, I have broken with the decorum of mainstream modernism, not only taking risks but also altering the rules of my academic training.

About the Artist

Rachel Rovay was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and arrived in Australia in 1970. She received a diploma of design and fine art from Monash University and a graduate diploma of education from the University of Melbourne.

Since 1979, Rachel Rovay has participated in 17 solo exhibitions and more than 60 group exhibitions, including the Sulman and Dobell prize exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Among Rachel Rovay’s Sydney art prize exhibitions are those for the Mosman Art Prize, Redland Westpac Art Prize, and Portia Geach Memorial Award. In addition, in Queensland, her work has been singled out for the Stanthorp Art Prize and the Logan Art Award.

Rachel Rovay’s group exhibitions abroad have taken place at the Monash Prato Centre, Italy; United Nations conferences in Durban, South Africa; and Tram Studios, Camden Town, United Kingdom.

Through October 6, 2016, Rachel Rovay’s portrait To the Maxx (Max Walker AM) can be seen in the exhibition “Hidden Faces 2016” at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.

Some private and public collections that have acquired Rachel Rovay’s artworks are the State Library of Victoria, Macquarie University Sydney, the Deakin University Art Collection, the Monash Medical Centre Art Collection, and the Jewish Museum of Australia.

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