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Angus Nivison


Angus Nivison translate

30 April - 30 May, 2015

Š Utopia Art Sydney photography by Simon Scott


Angus Nivison translate

How to translate experience into paint, how to capture something of the human condition in a brush stroke, how to move and be moved? These are some of the questions that drive Angus Nivison’s curiosity. Of course, he is not alone in his project – how many artists and writers and poets and musicians across the span of human civilization have attempted to do more or less the same thing? And yet, it is somehow refreshing in this day and age to meet someone with such grand, but simple, aspirations. There is no overt message; there is no prescribed meaning. There is just the artist, the painting and the viewer. From this triumvirate all kinds of wonderful encounters and transformative experiences can occur. Says Nivison, “I’ve always maintained that once a viewer puts a story on your work it becomes theirs. You can have a dialogue with a painting, and it’s yours for that moment. That’s one of the gifts of art. That is, to me, why good art endures.” Looking at the painting ‘Longing’, I am immediately struck by the scent of rain on asphalt in summer and the nostalgic memories this instils in me of balmy childhood afternoons. There is a heartache to the painting’s beauty

that is difficult to put a name to. According to Nivison, “you could read it quite literally in terms of the dry times when the rain never quite seems to reach the ground, and longing for it to. But it is also about that human condition of longing for something… and you can’t define what it is.” A glimpse of transcendence through storm cloud? As with many of Nivison’s paintings, this one has a strong, but intangible, sense of place – here, perhaps, a view across mountains, there, a line of rain sweeping over paddocks, just as much appreciated as bleeding swathes of acrylic paint and fine lines of silver and red pencil. “Sense of place is very important, not just for the landscape painter but for everybody I think. We all need to know our place in the world. But I think I could find something no matter where I was... I do like people to feel that my paintings have a feeling of the spirit of where they were painted.” All of the works in this exhibition were painted at “Yalgoolygum”, Nivison’s property near Walcha in the northern tablelands of NSW. The country of this region, its peculiar lights and vistas and moods, can’t help but permeate Nivison’s art.


Longing, 2014, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 197 x 176cm


The Seasons, 2014, acrylic, pigments and charcoal on canvas, four panels each 188 x 168cm


Presence, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 197 x 176cm


Accordingly, Nivison admits that the major work in this exhibition, titled ‘The Seasons’, “only makes sense where we are”, with a bitterly cold spring, a harsh summer, a gentle autumn and a hard winter. And again, we can find elements of landscape in this suite of paintings. Vertical lines could be the vestiges of trees, ridges merge into mist, horizons repeat themselves. Such rhythms also have a musicality to them – cadence and counterbalance. In fact, the painting was born out of Nivison’s reacquaintance with Vivaldi’s famous concertos. It was Max Richter’s post-minimalist recomposition of ‘The Four Seasons’ that Nivison listened to in his studio as he painted, and it is interesting to read Richter’s own words on the process of interpreting Vivaldi’s original score: “reclaiming this music for me personally, by getting inside it and rediscovering it for myself – and taking a new path through a well-known landscape.” A statement that could just as well have been made by Nivison.

each mark carrying with it the weight of the decision to move hand over surface just so. In ‘The Poet’, Nivison’s most recent painting in this exhibition, even subtle allusions to the world of mountains and paddocks and thunderheads have been removed. The calligraphic lines that scrawl across an amazingly luminous black relate, in the artist’s words, to the “mystery and elegance of the human mark across the void.” Words, like music, play a part in Nivison’s practice. Quite often as he paints, Nivison will write on his studio walls, usually a single word or phrase that has come to him during the process of painting. In ‘The Poet’, however, it is as though fragments of the written word have broken off from their moorings and float free from the demands of any one language, from the need to specify any one meaning. As in much poetry, oblique flights of images prevail in Nivison’s art. Says the artist, “sometimes I just begin.”

The personal journey of discovery is an important one for Nivison, culminating in that moment upon stepping back from a painting when it suddenly takes on a life of its own. At the same time a painting is “the echo of a life” – that of the artist. At its most literal level,

- Chloe Watson


The Poet, 2015, acrylic and pigment on canvas, two panels each 188 x 168cm


Windshift 1, 2015, acrylic and pigment on arches, 76 x 57cm

Windshift 2, 2015, acrylic and pigment on arches, 76 x 57cm


Windshift, 2015, acrylic and pigment on canvas, 130 x 120cm


Change, 2015, acrylic and pigment on canvas, 130 x 120cm


Study for Change 1-5, 2014, acrylic, pigment and charcoal on Yalgoo letterhead, 21.5 x 20cm


Instinct, 2013, acrylic on canvas, two panels each 130 x 120cm


Life, 2013, acrylic, gesso, pastel and charcoal on arches, 105.5 x 151cm


Complicit, 2014, acrylic, gesso and charcoal on arches, 103 x 152.5cm


The Elephant and the Whale, 2014, acrylic on canvas, two panels each 120 x 130cm


Risk, 2014, acrylic on canvas, two panels each 192 x 172cm


Interior, 2014, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, two panels each 188 x 168cm


A Changing Landscape, 2015, acrylic, pigment and charcoal on arches, 76 x 57cm


Angus Nivison Biography

Born 1953 Lives and works in Walcha, NSW Education 1972-74 Studied National Art School, Sydney, NSW 1975 Studied Alexander Mackie College, Sydney, NSW Solo Exhibitions 2015 ‘Translate’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2013 ‘Letters Home’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, S.H. Ervin Gallery, NSW 2012 ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, NSW ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, Newcastle University Art Gallery, NSW 2011 ‘Other Places’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2009 ‘Impossible Landscapes’ Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2008 ‘Above and Below’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2006 ‘Learning a Language: all about the weather’, Moree Plains Gallery, Moree, NSW 2006 ‘Uncertain Light/Pools’, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW 2006 ‘ear to the ground’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2005 ‘The Language of Mountains is Rain’, Coffs Harbour City Gallery, NSW 2004 ‘Paintings from Yalgoolygum’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2003 Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW 2002 BBA Gallery, Sydney, NSW 2001 BBA Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1999 Coventry, Sydney, NSW 1997 Coventry, Sydney, NSW 1995 Coventry, Sydney, NSW 1993 Coventry, Sydney, NSW 1991 New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW Coventry, Sydney, NSW 1989 Standfield Gallery, Melbourne, VIC 1987 Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1985 Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1984 Parmenter Gallery, Walcha, NSW 1982 Gallery A, Sydney, NSW Selected Group Exhibitions 2014

‘Abstraction’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW

2013

‘The Salon’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Air, Light & Space: Contemporary Abstraction’, Glasshouse Port Macquarie Regional Gallery, NSW ‘Angus Nivison & Friends: Christopher Hodges, Helen Eager & John R. Walker’, Walcha Gallery of Art, NSW ‘No Boundaries’, Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre, VIC ‘LANDSCAPE’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2012 ’25 Years – the Rio Tinto Retrospective’, Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre, NSW ‘Ground Up – A Fundraising Exhibition’, Damien Minton Annex Space, NSW ‘Voices of Art 3: An Evening of Art for Animals’, NSW ‘paperworks’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Art for Humanity: Painting and Jewellery for Australian Red Cross’, Depot Gallery, NSW ‘Best of Coventry: Coventry’s Artists’, New England Regional Art Museum, NSW ‘Repertoire’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW Dobell Prize for Drawing, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 2012 Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Eutick Memorial Still Life Award’, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW 2011 ‘Angus and Friends’, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW ‘Up Close and Personal: works from the collection of Dr Peter Elliott AM’, S. H. Ervin Gallery, NSW ‘Fleurieu Art Prize’, Hardys Winery, McLaren Vale, SA Mosman Art Prize, Mosman, NSW 2010 ‘Water’ King Street Gallery, NSW Inaugural exhibition, Defiance Gallery, Paddington, NSW ‘Museum III’ Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Salon des Refuses’, S.H. Ervin Gallery, NSW ‘Black is the Colour’ Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2010’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC ‘First Exhibition of Contemporary Arts’ Kabul, Afghanistan 2009 ‘pinned & framed’ Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Abstraction’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘A Combined Exhibition of Local Artists’ Walcha Gallery of Art, NSW ‘Countryscapes 2009’, Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW ‘Countryscapes 2009’, The Glashouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre, Port Macquarie, NSW


Angus Nivison Biography - continued

2008

‘Australian Abstraction’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair’, Royal Exhibition Building, VIC ‘Countryscapes 2008’, Country Energy art prize, Wentworth Gallery, NSW ‘Pairs of Paintings’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Fifty Years of the Muswellbrook Shire Collection 1958 – 2008’, Muswellbrook Regional Art Centre, NSW 2007 ‘The 22nd Annual Packsaddle Exhibition’. New England Regional Art Museum, NSW ‘Country Energy Art Prize For Landscape Painting’, Dubbo Regional Gallery, NSW Dobell Prize for Drawing, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW ‘Archibald Prize’, Art Gallery New South Wales, NSW Archibald Prize Regional Tour’ Manning Regional Gallery, NSW ‘Archibald Prize Regional Tour’, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, NSW “Turning 20”, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2006 ‘The Year In Art’ S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2006’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC ‘Regional Encounters’, Tamworth City Art Gallery, NSW ‘Walcha City of Art/ Contemporary Australian Art’, Karlovy Vary Art Gallery, Czech Republic ‘Same Place, Many Views’, Defiance Gallery, Sydney ‘Bits and Pieces abstract art’ Utopia Art Sydney, NSW 2005 ‘from big things little things grow’, Utopia Art Sydney ‘Redlands Westpac Art Prize’, Mosman Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Sydney v Melbourne’, Silvershot, Melbourne, VIC ‘Sydney Art on Paper Fair’ , Byron Kennedy Hall, Sydney ‘Museum II’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘New Ideas 2005’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW The Wynne Prize’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW Winner ‘Art on The Rocks’, Sydney Visitor Centre, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW ‘Hazelhurst Art Award 2005 - Art on Paper’, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Sydney, NSW ‘Agri/Culture: Re-creating The Living Landscape’, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, NSW ‘Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting’, Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW 2004 ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2004’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC Tattersals Club Prize, Brisbane, QLD

2003

Jacaranda Drawing Prize, Grafton Regional Gallery, Grafton, NSW Walcha City of Art, New Contemporaries Gallery, Sydney, NSW Surface Memories, Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, Tamworth, NSW Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 2002 Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 2001 Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 2000 BBA Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition, Sydney, NSW Federation, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, ACT (touring) Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 1999 Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW 1998 Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW Salon des Refusee, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW Kedumba Drawing Award, Blue Mountains, NSW 1996 Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW ‘Salon des Refusee’, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1995 ‘Dobell Drawing Prize’, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW Salon des Refusee, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW Chandler Coventry:Obsession, Campbelltown City Art Gallery(touring), NSW 1993 ‘Chandler Coventry: A Private Collection’, Campbelltown City Art Gallery, NSW 1991 ‘New Art Five’, Coventry, Sydney, NSW Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook, NSW 1988 Contemporary Views of New England, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW 1986 Artists from the North West, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney 1984 Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1982 Regional Artists of New England, NERAM, Armidale & Tamworth City Art Gallery, NSW 1978 Gallery A, Sydney, NSW NSW Travelling Art Scholarship, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney, NSW Sydney Morning Herald Art Prize, David Jones Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1974 National Art School, Sydney, NSW Awards/Grants 2011

AGNSW Cite Studio Residency, Paris, FRANCE Winner Eutrick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW


Angus Nivison Biography - continued

2005 2002 2002 1998 1992 1991 1979 1977 1976

Art on The Rocks, Sydney Visitor Centre, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney, NSW Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook, NSW Kedumba Drawing Award, Blue Mountains, NSW Gold Coast Art Prize, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, QLD Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook, NSW The Sydney Morning Herald Heritage Art Prize Artist in Residence, Owen Tooth Memorial Cottage, Vence, FRANCE Narrabri Art Prize, Narrabri, NSW Mercedes Benz Award, Royal Art Society Maitland Art Prize, Maitland, NSW

Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales Artbank Australian Consolidated Press Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery Gold Coast City Art Gallery Hawkesbury Regional Gallery Kedumba Collection Macquarie Group Collection Maitland City Art Gallery MEPC Australia Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery New England Regional Art Museum New Parliament House Newcastle Region Art Gallery Tamworth Regional Gallery The Australian Club University of NSW University of New England Bibliography 2014, Barry Pearce, 100 Moments in Australian Painting, Sydney: New South Publishing April 2013, ‘Angus Nivison’s Letters Home’, Leah Haynes, Art Notes, Art Monthly Australia, April 2013, ‘Angus Nivison: Letters Home’, exhibition brief, Art Almanac April 26, 2013, ‘Artist discusses his work’, Port Macquarie News March 8, 2013, ‘Artists capture essence of space’, Port Macquarie News

February 2 2013, The Planner, Sydney Morning Herald February 1 2013, Sharne Wolff, ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, The Art Life [online] January 19 2013, Brooke Lewis, ‘Memories of landscapes’, McGrath: The Weekly Magazine January 12-13 2013, John McDonald, ‘New Year’s Revelation’, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald December 21 2012, Elizabeth Fortescue, ‘Bushie’s reluctant brush with fame’, The Telegraph November 3 2012, Jill Stowell, ‘Drawing on landscapes’, Review, Newcastle Herald July 2012, Susie Burge, ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, online, artravelife blog June – July 2012, Sandra McMahon, John McDonald, Barry Pearce, ‘Angus Nivison: A Survey’, Tamworth Regional Gallery, exhibition catalogue March 2012, Sandra McMahon, ‘Angus Nivison: Featured Artist’, New England Country Style August 2010 – January 2011, Lisa Slade, ‘Paper trail: dr9awings from the collection’, Artemis, Newcastle Art Gallery Society Magazine, vol. 41, no. 2 21 August 2010, Jill Stowell, ‘Drawing Attention’, Newcastle Herald September 2010, Susie Burge, ‘Fair Trading’, Harpers Bazaar (illustration) May 2010, John McDonald, ‘small mercies’, Sydney Morning Herald March 2008 Tracey Clements, Metro, Sydney Morning Herald March 2008 John McDonald, “There’s magic in these spectacular works’, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum Countryscapes 2008, Country Energy Catalogue, The Gunnery, 2007 Country Energy Art Prize for Landscape Painting, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Catalogue March 2007 John McDonald, ‘’A Brush with Mediocrity’, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum ‘Natural Talent’, Hoof & Horns, 2006, Words, Richard Zachariah, Photos, Lizzi O’Connor June 2006 John McDonald, ‘A reality Czech from Walcha’, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum – Arts & Entertainment, p1617 ‘Insight’, Issue 1, 2005, Westpac Magazine June 2005 Hawkesbury Regional Gallery ‘Re-Creating the Living Landscape’ Catalogue July 2005, Sydney Morning Herald, John McDonald, ‘Westerly Directions’ ‘New England Picture – In what they paint I see’, new England


Angus Nivison Biography - continued

Regional Art Museum, 9th July – 29th August 2004, Curated by Amanda Cachia 2004 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award Catalogue, Grafton Regional Gallery After Hours, The Weekend Australian Financial Review, John McDonald, ‘Archibald’s close brush with fame’, June 2002 June 2002, The Sydney Morning Herald, Bruce James, ‘Death’s great frame of reference’ June 2002, The Daily Telegraph, Elizabeth Fortescue, ‘Hardearned Wynne’ October, 2002, Daily Telegraph, ‘Farmers turn to art for solace’ Muse, August 2001, Rocks and Flesh, Ann McMahon Sun Herald, December 2000, Hannah Edwards, ‘Art and Soul of Australia’ ‘Canberra Times’, ‘A Remarkably High Standard’, Sasha Grishin, ‘Rocks and Flesh’ at Artists Ties Gallery October 2, 1999, Sydney Morning Herald, Bryce Hallett, ‘Sent to Coventry, now he’ll hang for his mentor’ Sydney Morning Herald, 1999, ‘The Galleries’ section, ‘The Big Picture’, Sebastian Smee John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald, ‘The Misfits: Hermits, but Brothers in Arts’ November, 1995, The Armidale Express, Wend Fitzgibbon, ‘Donation caps great week for NERAM’ 1995 Sydney Morning Herald, John McDonald, ‘Along The Path to Understanding’ ‘Landscape without Figure’, 1991, Joe Eisenberg, Director, NERAM June, 1991, Coventry Gallery, ‘Angus Nivison – Landscape Without Figure’ Catalogue Talks Angus Nivison in conversation with Christopher Hodges, S.H. Ervin Gallery, 10 February 2013 Q&A session with Angus Nivison and photographer R. Ian Lloyd, S.H. Ervin Gallery, 3 February 2013 Bryan Hooper exhibition floor talk at S.H. Ervin Gallery, 27 January 2013 Interview, ‘Canvas’, FBI Radio, 20 January 2013 ‘Studio’ an evening with John McDonald and Angus Nivison, Tamworth Region Art Gallery, 19 July, 2011 ‘Studio 2’ at the State Library of NSW with Wendy Sharp, 18th September, 2008


Angus Nivison translate

30 April - 30 May, 2015

Utopia Art Sydney 2 Danks Street Waterloo NSW 2017 Telephone: + 61 2 9699 2900 email: utopiaartsydney@ozemail.com.au www.utopiaartsydney.com.au Š Utopia Art Sydney photography by Simon Scott


Utopia Art Sydney 2 Danks Street Waterloo NSW 2017 Telephone: + 61 2 9699 2900 email: utopiaartsydney@ozemail.com.au www.utopiaartsydney.com.au

Angus Nivison - Translate  

A solo exhibition of recent work by artist Angus Nivison.

Angus Nivison - Translate  

A solo exhibition of recent work by artist Angus Nivison.

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