5 – 24 March 2015
about the exhibition
Graeme Drendel’s skilfully executed paintings are driven by narratives which are not always immediately apparent to the viewer. The works in this exhibition have been developed from a series of pen and ink drawings of random images torn from magazines, newspapers and books over many years. To Graeme’s mind, certain figures “typically from small scrappy black and white photographs, seemed to demand attention.” In the resulting paintings, “…all outside elements, landscape etc., eventually gave way to the isolated figure in an imagined or implied space, intensifying… the possibility of a rather more intense or emphatic interaction between the ‘character’ depicted and the viewer.” These works are a departure from Graeme’s usual working method of developing paintings from observational drawings, with the catalyst of the found images allowing Graeme to elaborate more intuitively. When paired with the immediacy of the watercolour and gouache, these captivating works themselves demand close attention.
Graeme Drendel completed a Diploma of Teaching Art and Craft from Melbourne State College in 1974. After teaching for several years, Graeme travelled extensively throughout Italy, United Kingdom and United States. In 2006, he was a finalist in the Art Gallery of NSW’s Sulman Prize, in 2011, a finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize and most recently, in 2014, he was a finalist in the Benalla Nude Art Prize. With over twenty solo exhibitions to his name, Graeme’s work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Australian Print Workshop and numerous regional galleries.