Gunter Christmann, SandOZKAR, 2005, Acrylic on canvas, 153 x 153 cm
is pleased to present two exhibitions this month
28 June – 30 July 2005
Please join us for opening drinks on Tuesday 5 July 2005 at 6.00pm
Stephen Benwell, by his own definition, is a ceramicist. But the vessels, pots and sculptural figures act as vehicles for his subtle and delicate painting. The hand built ceramic base gives Benwell an undulating surface, slick but uneven, on which to scrawl lively and fresh marks, images and colours. The fragile medium seems to resonate with the light and often whimsical brush work. His work often contains a story, or unusual sequence of events. Narrative is combined with a distinctive aesthetic to create unique and engaging art.
Stephen Benwell lives and works in Melbourne. He received a Diploma of Art from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1974 and held the Cite Internationale de Arts residency in Paris from 1984-–1985. He is currently working towards his Master of Fine Art at Monash University, Melbourne. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia.
Christmann's career has spanned more than forty years since he arrived in Sydney, from Berlin, in 1959. Though his work has moved through a number of different "phases", Christmann has maintained a fascination with the world around him – he feeds off contemporary life. This is manifest in his recent adoption of a ''tag', a graffiti style calligraphy that is drawn across his paintings, sometimes in almost obsessive repetition.
Christmann first came to prominence during the 1960s, exhibiting European inspired hard edged abstraction. Associated with the important Central Street Gallery, Christmann's work was included in the seminal The Field exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1968. Through this personal association with colourfield and hard edged painting, Christmann has created unique quotations and idiosyncratic variations on these styles in his later work. In a series exhibited at the Act XII: New Works on Paper exhibition, Christman ''tagged' colour photocopies of one of his paintings from 1967.
Christmann's paintings have featured in important exhibitions in Australia and overseas and he was chosen to represent Australia at the 1971 Sao Paulo Biennial. The National Gallery of Australia has a larger collection of works by Gunter Christmann than any other contemporary Australian artist. He currently resides in Sydney.