A Closer Look At… John Dent large-scale paintings

This is the final week to view our current exhibition John Dent: Between Two Countries and we invite you to take A Closer Look At… John Dent’s larger paintings in the exhibition.

The subject matter of the larger paintings crosses a broad range: landscapes; interiors; figures; still lifes – all themes with a long tradition in the history of art. Dent takes inspiration from his own experiences, from the mundane of a Hills Hoist in the backyard of an inner city Melbourne suburb; to the more exotic, a studio in Mallorca; to the macabre, the soft colour palette of the seminal triptych, Natura Morta- Marta belies the rather uncompromising subject. Dent is able to raise elements from their everyday existence to the distinction of art, particularly highlighted in these paintings where familiar objects are lifted through their presentation on a grand scale. However the real subject matter is often the very act of painting itself, the placement of elements, of form and colour on the canvas. 

To tak A Closer Look At… John Dent’s larger-scale paintings, please click here.

Exhibition showing until Friday 25 June. Visit our website to view images, watch a video of the opening, download the catalogue and read the Closer Look At… essay.

A Closer Look At… John Dent Still Life Paintings

In our series of A Closer Look At… essays, we examine an aspect of current exhibited artworks. In the first of these for John Dent: Between Two Countries, we further consider the intriguing still life paintings where a range of commonplace objects are carefully placed in juxtaposition to each other and the space between them, to hint at a narrative beyond the ordinary.

These are elegant paintings, where every object has been deliberately considered and heightened by the use of texture and skilful use of colour, which is both rich yet subtle. In his opening remarks, LDFA Director Michael Blanche referred to Dent’s still paintings as “semi-abstracted displaced objects”, seeing links to artists including Giorgio Morandi; Lucio Fontana; Pierre Bonnard; Edouard Vuillard and to one of John’s key mentors, George Baldessin.

Take A Closer Look At… John Dent Still Life Paintings here, particularly, whilst the Gallery is closed due to current Victorian Covid restrictions. Images can also be viewed online and please contact us via email with any queries ausart@diggins.com.au. The exhibition has been extended to 25th June and we hope to welcome you soon (at this stage from 11 June).

JOHN DENT : Exhibition Opening at LDFA Sat 15 May 2021 at 2pm

John Dent: Between Two Countries featuring 50 paintings from the earlier years of his ongoing career, painted in both Australia and France. A rare opportunity to view the collection together on a scale not seen since Dent’s retrospective at Castlemaine Art Gallery in 1994. Subjects range from intriguing and elegant still lifes; atmospheric interiors and figurative works; and streetscapes of Paris, with its everyday realities and unexpected surprises. A range of subjects and scales but unmistakably Dent’s lyrical and complex compositions and multifaceted muted colour palette.

The exhibition is showing until 11 June and a colour illustrated catalogue can be downloaded from our website.

Connections: Paintings from Utopia

The lyrical, delicately coloured paintings by the artists of Utopia speak of a strong connection with landscape and country, as well as integral and significant ancestral and ceremonial links.

On another level, we pay tribute to the personal connection Lauraine Diggins had with the artists and landscape of Utopia. A strong supporter of the artists from this beautiful area, Lauraine would travel often to spend time working with the Ngal sisters (Kathleen, Poly and Angelina – and extended family) from Camel Camp; Cowboy Loy Pwerl, Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray and Genevieve Kemarr Loy from Iylenty (Mosquito Bore); and with the Morton sisters from Rocket Range.

Lauraine promoted the artists of Utopia, not only through her own Gallery but internationally through art fairs in Paris and Moscow; collaborative exhibitions both in Australia and around the world; and through art competitions including Angelina, Kathleen and Elizabeth in the Wynne; Cowboy and Genevieve in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Churchie; Angelina, Cowboy, Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Blake; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Alice Prize; Genevieve in the Fleurieu, among others. Lauraine was instrumental in the international fashion house Hermes commissioning Gloria Petyarr to create a design for their famous scarves.

Preview the exhibition here

Connections Installation View 2019
Connections Installation View with Roxy 2019

A Closer Look At…. Andrew Sayers

The gouaches of Andrew Sayers are evocative and atmospheric, encapsulating a real sense of space and of place. Painted en plein air, they speak of the challenges of depicting the scene in front of you as it changes depending on natural conditions, such as light and weather. Sayers’s work contrasts these fleeting moments of the elements against ancient features of the land, revealing his passion for rocks, seas and skies; as well as opening a conversation between the landscape and human elements, such as bridge constructions. In his opening remarks, Doug Hall described the works as exhibiting “poise, quiet monumentalism and clarity.”

To take A Closer Look At  how Sayers ‘captured a moment’ please download the illustrated essay.

Andrew SAYERS Sky Study Haywards Beach 218136
Andrew SAYERS Sky Study Haywards Beach gouache on paper 34 x 47.2 cm 218136

Visit the exhibition page to watch a video of the exhibition opening with speech by Doug Hall AM; download the illustrated catalogue or preview the artworks – please click here.

Andrew Sayers: Defining the Artist in The Good Weekend magazine

Bogola Head (2015) by Andrew Sayers, gouache on paper, 57cm x 76.5cm.

Good Weekend readers will have spotted John McDonald’s review of our current exhibition of gouaches by Andrew Sayers as reproduced below. The evocative landscapes, with a beautiful sense of space and place are on show until 27 April.

 

Art: Andrew Sayers

By John McDonald   March 15, 2019

Lived: Richmond, Melbourne. Age: 1957-2015. Represented by: Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne; no Sydney gallery

His thing: Gouache on paper landscapes, painted in a range of locations.

Our take: After establishing his reputation as a curator at the National Gallery of Australia, Andrew Sayers went on to become the founding director of the National Portrait Gallery and, later, director of the National Museum of Australia. Only a few close friends knew that Sayers was also a secret artist who took every opportunity to go painting “en plein air”. Sayers had long intended to give up museum work and devote himself to artistic activities, but when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he began to value every moment he could spend with a brush in his hand.

He held a first solo exhibition with Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in May 2015, and died in October that year. Andrew Sayers: Defining the Artist is his second solo show with the gallery, featuring goauche landscapes drawn from the estate. The quick-drying nature of gouache encourages a rapid response, and many of these works on paper might be described as sketches in which the artist has spontaneously jotted down his impressions. Other pictures are more considered, but it’s obvious that Sayers relished the challenge of painting at high speed, relying on eye and instinct. Like all dedicated landscape artists, he would return to the same motif again and again, investigating it from different angles under varying qualities of light.

Can I afford it? 

The works in this show range from $1500 to $5000, depending on size. The smallest, such as On the Spot Sketch, Wallaga Lake Bridge (2012), are 23cm/24cm x 32cm. The largest, such as the diptych Wooden Bridge (2010), are 57cm x 76cm and priced at $4950. Another large work is Bogola Head (pictured).

Where can I have a squiz?

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 5 Malakoff Street, North Caulfield, Melbourne, until April 27

diggins.com.au

Andrew Sayers: Exhibition Opening Sat 2 March

Brave the heat and join us at the exhibition opening of gouaches by Andrew Sayers where the sense of light and air and space will cool you down!

We look forward to Doug Hall AM (former Director at QAGOMA and former Australian Commissioner, Venice Biennale) sharing his insights about Andrew Sayers, the artist, who is more widely known and celebrated for his successful institutional career including the founding Director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Featuring gouaches from 2010 – 2015, the “secret” life of Andrew Sayers – the artist – is revealed with themes ranging from the attractive bridges of the south coast of NSW; sites of volcanic history in Victoria; the colours of the desert; and nature, particularly seas and skies. The works have been inspired by his passion for geology; his curiosity about structure and how things work; and an obvious interest in atmospheric effects.

Preview the exhibition through our website and we hope to see you whilst the works are hanging – showing until 27 April 2019.

Janet and Mike Green Exhibition Opening and Artist Talks

Missed the pleasure of our most recent exhibition opening? Eager to hear an insider’s view about the artworks? Videos of the exhibition opening for Alice and Beyond: Recent work by Janet and Mike Green, with opening remarks by Rod James, along with individual conversations with both Mike and Janet, are now all available for viewing – enjoy!

 

The Melbourne Fair

August is Art Fair season in Melbourne! Lauraine Diggins Fine Art again participated in The Melbourne Fair which was on show 9th-12th August at Caulfield Racecourse and showcased over 50 specialist dealers focussing on  fine art; furniture; decorative arts; books, prints and posters; jewellery; fashion and vintage couture. It has been described as an Aladdin’s cave of treasures with something for every interest.

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art exhibited a selection of paintings, sculptures and works on paper which are now on view at the Gallery, including artworks by Nicholas Chevalier; Ethel Carrick Fox; Andrew Sayers; Danila Vassilieff and Roland Wakelin.

Contrasting coastal scenes by Arthur Boyd and Elioth Gruner show the wilds of the sand dunes of the ocean (Ocean Beach at Rye, 1957) against the jewel-like light and atmosphere of a wide expanse of sand against rippling waves (Figures on the Beach, 1917).

A selection of indigenous painting included a striking four-panel ochre work by Freddie Ngarrmaliny Timms, (Jimbaline, 1994) including Doon Doon Station, a scene associated with atrocities committed by pastoralists, a timely work in the wake of the Colony exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.

We also exhibited a focus on Australian ceramics with works by Merric Boyd; John Perceval; Stephen Bowers and Zhou Xiaoping.

And gain an insight into the workings of an artist with Robert Clinch’s Dreamscape sculpture, depicting a playground day and night (complete with working streetlight) which features in his intricate lithograph pair of the same name.

It was a pleasure to see many of you at the Fair and to meet new friends of Lauraine Diggins Fine Art.

A Closer Look At…..ZHOU Xiaoping – the art of collaboration

EXHIBITION:
ZHOU Xiaoping: The Cross Cultural Influences of Chinese & Indigenous Art
3 March – 21 April 2018

ZHOU Xiaoping’s referencing of indigenous culture has come from his own experience and immersion in the Australian indigenous landscape, through his relationships with Aboriginal people, and his genuine interest in indigenous culture and art – it is a celebration of his own experiences and journeys, the friendships he has made and his desire to share his understanding of this culture with an audience through his own art.

Follow this link to read more about Xiaoping’s work and experiences, please take A Closer Look At… Zhou Xiaoping collaborations