13 September - 1 October 2007
about the exhibition
Over four decades, Robert Boynes has confirmed his place as the artist of the urban environment. Influenced by cinema and film noir imagery in particular, he juxtaposes images of public thoroughfares such as train stations and sidewalks with fragments of television screens and the effects of water pouring over glass. This juxtaposition, combined with the process of layering, provides us with a narrative of a somewhat manipulated moment in time that Robert has described as a “story board”.His visual response to the world around him has always been an immediate and honest one and, in his paintings, layers of meaning exist somewhere between the abstract mark and the figurative image.Constantly obscuring our view and providing incomplete snapshots, Robert encourages the viewer to contemplate but, further to this engagement with his audience, he believes that he “above all, wants to make something that is beautiful”. This new series of work still seduces the viewer but, unlike his earlier work, it does so with an almost monochromatic palette. Strong contrasts of black and white diluted with splashes of water are linked with flashes of red, giving his work a vibrant and contemporary feel. Each painting begins with a photographic screenprint, often on a large scale, which is then transferred onto canvas. Robert’s vigorous painting process, with the use of acrylics, completes the work.
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 for 27 years and 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 (Chicago, USA). Robert is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at the ANU School of Art in Canberra. In 2002, his work was included in a select group exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia entitled “Tales of the unexpected: aspects of contemporary Australian art” which was curated by Dr Deborah Hart. Robert has an extensive exhibition history dating back to the mid-1960s and has had over 50 solo shows across Australia, the UK and USA.