20 October - 13 November 2011
about the exhibition
The paintings of Robert Boynes evoke the movement, sensations and sounds found in our urban spaces and streetscapes. His current work features fractured images, shards of light and the transience of what we see and what we record. The viewer becomes the observer and the observed, an experience common in our city lives. For over four decades, Robert has confirmed his place as an important artist of the urban environment. Robert uses the photographic image as a form of sketchbook notation, creating from it a screenprint that triggers a rigorous painting process. Acrylic paint is applied and washed back, revealing hidden forms and colours. His streetscapes, made up of these layered and reformatted images, are informed by his fascination with the transience of, and the memories embedded in, street art. In this way, Robert questions perception and the act of seeing. His visual response to the world around him has always been an immediate one and his large canvasses emphasise the short-lived and ephemeral nature of recorded moments. By constantly obscuring our view and providing incomplete snapshots, Robert encourages the viewer to contemplate beyond what we see, but, he “above all, wants to make something that is beautiful”.
Born in Adelaide, Robert studied at the South Australian School of Art in the early 1960s and began teaching in 1964. He was Head of Painting at the Canberra School of Art from 1978 – 2006 and is now currently Adjunct Associate Professor at the ANU School of Art. Robert has an extensive exhibition history and has had over 50 solo shows across Australia, the UK and USA. As well as being included in a select group exhibition curated by Dr Deborah Hart at the National Gallery of Australia in 2002, Robert was selected for the recent exhibition “The futile city”, curated by Jason Smith at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne this year. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia as well as all Australian State Galleries, Parliament House, Artbank and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.