1 - 19 May 2008
about the exhibition
Graham Fransella is a painter, printmaker and sculptor who works with intuition, allowing any perceived meaning to emerge after the work is done. Strong black strokes trace the outlines of figures, so stripped of detail they become symbolic, reminiscent of pictograms or graffiti. The prints and paintings are richly layered gestural works that explore the relationship between presence and absence. They work on many levels without being contrived; they are spontaneous works, with any interpretation left entirely up to the viewer. Graham’s bronze sculptures echo these themes. His charismatic mark-making is the distillation of several decades of draughtsmanship and what at first appear to be simple lines and primitive figures are also sophisticated, multi-layered abstractions. For Graham the creative process informs the conceptual content of his work. The figure also occurs as an archetypal form in his bronze sculpture. By contrast, in his smaller prints, Graham has ventured further into the pictorial. Naive images bearing motifs of birds and bicycles, sometimes accompanied by expressive text, give a sense of the illustrative. Above all, these distinctive, powerful and occasionally playful works use the “presence of human form and the absence of personal identity” to portray the human condition.
Graham Fransella has had over forty solo shows across Australia as well as in Germany and the United Kingdom. He has been exhibiting with Beaver Galleries since 1993, including seven solo exhibitions and repeated representation at the Melbourne Art Fair. His work has been selected for the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Dobell Drawing Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW and, in 2000, 2006 and 2007 he won the Trustees Watercolour Prize. Graham’s work is represented in many public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Parliament House, Print Council of Australia, Artbank and the Australian Art Investment Trust.