21 April – 25 June, 2018
David Voigt has tirelessly worked on his unique representation of the Australian landscape over the past five decades. He developed and pursued an exciting and visual way to present the bond between light and subject – the two requisite elements of any depiction of the landscape.
Part of the title of this exhibition – Out o fThe Past – comes from the 1947 American Film Noir classic of the same name. The French termed this film style ‘Film Noir’ and the reference to France is no insignificant coincidence. David spent a number of his formative artistic years in that country, soaking up the subjects and inspirations first displayed in works by the greats of his chosen vocation.
Noir is French for black – and Film Noir’s essence is thematic and visual darkness and this is the main motif of the style. Noir films typically feature dark imagery and social themes, deep shadows together with contrasting bright lights, sharp German expressionist camera angles, femme fatales, criminals, crooked cops and hard-boiled private eyes.
What I find in Voigt’s expressionistic, unique geometric approach to the Australian landscape is the turning of these compositional elements on their head. They are resplendent with colour and light at almost every level of intensity and subtlety, wrapped in geometric patterns and shapes such as shards of light and pools of colour, hue, drama and beauty.
Public and institutional acceptance of his style has won much praise and has earned him three major National art prizes; two Blake prizes and a Wynne prize among many others. And with that a great deal of artistic and commercial
success followed. In a recent publication tracing the history of the Blake prize and its winners the author comments –
“Voigt, as much as any Australian artist at this time, (1976-81) stood at the junction where traditional values meet Post Modernism. He was and is, deeply traditional in the sense that for him, what matters above all else is the art object, the flat surface on which he is working, usually alone, in the isolation of the studio... Voigt was producing paintings that were meticulously crafted, articulate, conceptual and non-intrusively immaculate.”
The Blake Book: Art, Religion and Spirituality in Australia
Author: Rosemary Crumlin
Published by MacMillan 2011
Time and health issues have seen the end of the production of this style of large-scale and physically demanding paintings. The works presented in this exhibition, and on the Gallery walls, virtually represent all that remains of his trademark iconic works – and are available for sale. All are truly representative
of his special way of seeing and capturing the unique Australian landscape.
Concurrently (and this is where the ‘Into the Future’ arises) David has followed a more traditional path of presenting the landscape he so much loves and continues to be part of.
The contemporary and more traditionally recognizable elements of the landscape are presented in the accepted visual style of land and sky, presented in true-to-life or more realistic shapes, while pushing ahead into the future with this continuing quest of capturing nature’s unending palette of colours, hues and moods.
Outstanding examples of this work, both historic and contemporary, are also to be experienced in this exhibition.
Stan d’Argeavel – Exhibition Coordinator
David Voigt studied at the National Art School, Sydney from 1964 to 1968. He won the English Speaking Union Traveling Scholarship and was awarded the use of a studio at the Cite Inter National des Arts, Paris.
Between 1969 and 1972 he set up a studio and had his first solo Paris exhibition at Galerie de Haut Pave in 1970. He traveled extensively throughout France, the UK, Italy and Holland. In 1972 he held a major exhibition of 3D constructions, drawings and prints at Galerie Balans in Amsterdam and a second exhibition of drawings and prints, at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Gallery, Amsterdam, where he lived throughout most of that year. He returned to live and work in Australia in late 1972.
Among his many awards are the Blake Prize in 1976 for his painting “Blue Requiem”, the Blake Prize in 1981 for “Meditation” and the Wynne Prize in 1981 for “Hills of Ravensdale”.
From 1968 until the present, David Voigt has had well over 100 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth and in many regional areas of New South Wales.
David first exhibited at Bungendore Wood Works Gallery in 2004 and this latest exhibition is the seventh solo exhibition at the Gallery to date. He has also been part of several collaborative and group exhibitions.
This exhibition also presents a special element. The work, “Spacial Sequence” is a companion piece to “Blue Requiem” and for the very first time this unique piece of Australian art history is offered for sale by bid.