Posts Tagged ‘Still Life


Day 322: Studio, by Deirdre But-Husaim

Studio (collection desk) by Deirdre But-Husaim

Day 322: Studio (collection desk), by Deirdre But-Husaim

There is a puzzling trend among Australian artists at the moment to deny the existence of the outside world and retreat deeply within themselves. Walking around art galleries becomes akin to flicking through TV channels, which are filled with cooking, home renovation, and celebrity gossip shows. Similar interiority and insularity seems to reign across a number of exhibitions I had seen lately, as the artists disengage from the outside world and cocoon themselves within the escapist comfort of their homes and studios.

Witness, for example, Deirdre But-Husaim’s current exhibition at Helen Gory, of which Studio (collection desk), is a representative example. There is no denial that this large-scale work is capably executed; the brushwork is exciting and painterly; and the colour palette and overall gamut of the composition is capably and expertly managed. The minute insight that the artist provides into her studio environment is invaluable as we learn about her studio organisation, creative processes, and her sources of influence and inspiration.

But one does wonder if there is truly nothing else that is happening around the world, near or far, that would excite the imagination of this truly capable and talented artist beyond the confines of her own studio walls. The exciting, memorable, mysterious and psychologically challenging work, The Painting, which the artist had submitted to this year’s Sulman Prize and which was inspired by her recent trip to Russia, begs to differ (see; and I personally look forward to seeing more works of this magnitude from the brush of this truly gifted and technically brilliant artist.

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries]


Day 301: Recent Still Lives by William Robinson


Day 301: Recent Still Lives by William Robinson

William Robinson’s recent exhibitions at the Australian Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney featured a refreshing infusion of still lives, heralding the artist’s return to the subject matter which arguably lay in abeyance for the last few decades. Still lives were central to the artist’s oeuvre throughout the 1970s, and apart from displaying Robinson’s joy of domesticity, they also payed homage to one of his idols, the French late-nineteenth-century Post-Impressionist artist, Pierre Bonnard.

Robinson’s recent still lives, such as Garden and Verandah with Poppies, 2011 [1] and Verandah Still Life with Tibouchina and Vireya, 2011 [2] resurrect the erstwhile intimacy of his early domestic interiors; while the flattening out of the illusory space, the placement of objects at precarious, tottering angles, and bringing the background to the forefront of the composition are reflective of Robinson’s ongoing fascination with the French Post-Impressionist masters.

At the same time, the recent still lives are informed with Robinson’s own inimitably bold manipulation of space as witnessed in his grandiloquent landscapes; as well as the richness of riotous colours, as undiluted blobs of yellows, reds, magentas, turquoises, bright purples and blues (that were only hinted at within his landscape paintings) dance across the palette and enrich the visual experience of these intimately-scales canvasses. 

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

July 2018
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