Posted on Aug 1, 2015
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I had a show in Milan called ‘VITAL SIGNS’ in September 2015 at Gli Eroici Furori gallery.


You can see a video of the show at:

‘VITAL SIGNS’ is named because I have had a number of solo and small group shows to which I have given quasi-medical titles, ‘It Was Healing Nicely’, ‘Voluntary Discharge’ etc. The Italian exhibitions have had perhaps more pretentious titles, such as ‘Colour Codes’ and my most political show, ‘Codex Australis’ which had the sub-title ‘South Polemic’.

I also had in mind the 17th century Dutch painter, Meindert Hobbema, who lived in Amsterdam, was taught by Jacob van Ruisdael and probably knew Rembrandt. His long painting career encompassed fifty or so years, but whose most notable paintings, perhaps 10-15 in all, including his most famous ‘The Avenue at Middelharnis’ , were all produced in a five year period in the late 17th century. After which he relapsed into the sentimental style which he had abandoned to produce these paintings. I have just emerged from a long fallow period, with two exhibitions already this year, which with the Gli Eroici Furori show represent, I hope, vital signs. Some of the paintings that will be on show are under the section New work for Milan on this website.

People sometimes ask which artists I draw influence or inspiration from, I could reply ‘all of them’, but here is brief list:

Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Jacob van Ruisdael, Turner, Bonnard, Matisse, Nicolas de Stael, Emile Nolde, Eric Ravilious, Milton Avery, Giuseppe Penone, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis and Robert Morris (This last because it is reassuring to know that along with Chuck Berry, one’s old heroes are still around!).

I have one name to add to this list, an Australian, Clarice Beckett, who died in 1935 in Beaumaris, Melbourne, where we stay frequently. She hardly ever sold a painting in her lifetime, largely unrecognised then as now, and yet her paintings feature in most national and provincial collections. She managed to be an unrealised post-impressionist without ever having seen any of this work, even in reproduction.