Our exhibition of paintings and drawings by Hilda Rix Nicholas is now on show after a crowded opening attended by the artist’s granddaughter, Bronwyn Wright and with introductory words by Dr Gerard Vaughan AM, former Director of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. A video of this illuminating speech is available to view on our website, where you can also download the illustrated catalogue and read further about the artist with an essay by Dr Sarah Engledow and an insight into the artist’s use of materials in Morocco by conservator, Catherine Nunn.
The exhibition is enhanced by posters, photographs and costumes, giving background and context to the artworks which represent the diverse range of her long and successful career, from Paris to Morocco to Etaples and Brittany, as well as images of Mosman and travels in northern NSW, to her later images from her time at ‘Knockalong’, a sheep station in the Monaro region, including landscapes, portraits and images of her son Rix.
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.