Sunday, November 22, 2009

Russel Drysdale

After a 41 degree day yesterday, and reports of over 80 fires raging in New South Wales alone, i realised that summer has come a little early. Summer evokes lots of memories for me, not least of all one of my favourite Australian painters: Russel Drysdale.

Like most great art, you have to see his works face to face. They glow. I went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales recently, and it's incredible how they seem to just hover on the walls, emitting an almost ethereal, other worldly radiance. The surrealists no doubt had an influence on his work, it sharing the same sense of stark desolation that you often see in the canvases of people like De Chirico and Dali, yet for all his surrealistic musings, I think of him more as the Australian equivalent to Edward Hopper; stark and beautiful paintings, that tell stories that are utterly unique to their place.

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