James Powditch
Modern master of reinvention

John McDonald
Spectrum, The Sydney Morning Herald October 30-31, 2010

Paperback painter... James Powditch's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (2010).

... Today is the last day of James Powditch's exhibition, Adaptation: New Work from Novel and Screen, at Australian Galleries. It is an impressive statement by an artist who has crafted a very original style out of a mixture of collage, assemblage, painting and print making. He has also found a use for those old Penguin paperbacks that turn brown and disintegrate while sitting on the shelves of secondhand bookshops.

Powditch's works are based on well-known films and the books from which they were adapted. It's a loose formula that gives him the freedom to play all sorts of visual games. There are also lots of gags, some genuinely witty, such as a largely abstract work called The Foundtainhead. While most of Powditch's panels are wallpapered with yellowed pages from decreipt paperbacks, this work contains only a one-line reference to J.M. Richard's Introduction to Modern Architecture. Nothing could be a more delfating riposte to Ayn Rand's vision of the architect as superman.


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