14 – 31 October 2021
about the exhibition
Graeme Drendel is a Melbourne-based painter and printmaker who creates intriguing vignettes of people from many walks of life. Drawn from his personal observations, the eclectic characters in Graeme’s work appear to have been plucked from the middle of an unfolding narrative, though it is never explicitly clear what their stories are about. Whether they are isolated figures or ensemble players, these characters exist in open vistas and abstract spaces, pulling our attention to their eccentricities and the curious relationships between them. Professor Sasha Grishin has said of Graeme’s works, “I have come to think of his pictorial vignettes as metaphors for some greater reality”. In his latest body of work, Graeme continues to study intimacy and human connection, yet these new works are subtly influenced by the artist’s experience of the current pandemic. The figures aren’t touching, as if held apart by “a sense of nervous anticipation”. In several works, there appear to be communication issues and maybe unfulfilled desires, and in others a greater sense of intimacy is already coming to the fore. Graeme says that “many of the paintings are simply ‘things’ that happen in the studio, they are the result of a kind of stream of consciousness process whereby ‘anything’ can and does happen”. As with Graeme’s broader body of work, these keenly observed studies of human nature are captivating yet confounding. The paintings are full of familiar emotions and the gallery walls again play host to a new troupe of intriguing characters.
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. Graeme is regularly a finalist in significant prizes throughout Australia, most recently in the 2021 Archibald Prize. In 2018, Graeme’s work was shortlisted for the Archibald Prize, The Paul Guest Prize and the Swan Hill Print and Drawing Acquisitive Award. In 2016, Graeme’s work was included in one of the National Portrait Gallery’s principal exhibitions, ‘The Popular Pet Show’ curated by Dr Sarah Engledow. “Silos + Silence”, a major survey exhibition of Graeme’s works was held at the Mildura Art Centre in 2016/2017. With over thirty 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.
Please note, due to the current COVID restrictions in the ACT, we are presenting these works to you by appointment only. Email the gallery at email@example.com or call 02 6282 5294 to make a time.
Please view the exhibition via the video below and then scroll down to look at individual images.