Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul

Arthur Boyd, Hanging rocks with bathers and Mars, c. 1985 (detail). Oil on canvas. Bundanon Trust CollectionExploring the Australian landscape and a sense of place through the complex genius of Arthur Boyd, the Bundanon Trust presents Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul at the National Art School, Sydney until 9 March 2019, before touring nationally across Australia until 2021.

Curated by Barry Pearce, Emeritus Curator of Australian Art AGNSW, and drawn principally from Bundanon Trust’s own collection of the artist’s work, the exhibition features some 60 key Boyd paintings including a group of masterpieces borrowed from major state art museums, as well as 20 works on paper, letters, photographs and sketchbooks spanning almost half a century and featuring works from his adolescence through to his final years.

“This exhibition explores the trajectory of one of our nation’s most important artists, looking at a lifelong career engaging with the real and imagined landscape,” said Bundanon Trust CEO, Deborah Ely. It highlights the rich resources of Bundanon that are part of Arthur Boyd’s national legacy, which we are delighted to see tour Australia.”

“We hope to see the exhibition complete its tour by returning to Bundanon as the inaugural exhibition for the new gallery in the Masterplan development at Riversdale, scheduled to open in 2021.”

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul focuses on Boyd’s diverse notions of landscape and traces one of the most celebrated careers in the history of Australian art through this lens. Presenting a number of never-before-seen works created by Boyd as a teenager, the exhibition offers the first in depth look at the artist’s powerful early grasp of the landscape as a subject.

Bookended by Boyd’s youthful paintings of the Mornington Peninsula in the 1930s and the final phase of his career depicting the Shoalhaven area in southern New South Wales in the mid-1970s, Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul considers not only the topographic landscape, but also the landscape Boyd carried within himself.

As a personal friend of Boyd, guest curator Barry Pearce brings a unique insight to his curatorial role, allowing this exhibition to move beyond the traditional academic understanding of Boyd’s career and delve deeper into the rich personal landscape of the acclaimed Australian artist.

“Boyd’s profound delirium of light and dark, swinging between euphoria and apprehension through diverse notions of landscape over almost half a century, is the focus of this exhibition,” said Mr Pierce. “The story of Arthur Boyd is one of genius evolving out of childhood innocence to which in some ways, through extraordinary complexity, it returned at the end of a long productive life. His was an artist’s odyssey through landscape both seen and imagined.”

The 1100 hectare property at Bundanon was gifted to the Australian people in 1993 by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd and remains one of the largest donations in Australian cultural history. Bundanon Trust celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 and continues to operate the property as a centre for creative arts, education, scientific and environmental research and artist residencies.


Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul
National Art School, Forbes Street, Darlinghurst
Exhibition continues to 9 March 2019
Free entry

Following its display at the National Art School, Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul will be presented in selected galleries across Australia until 2021. For more information and touring schedule, visit: www.nas.edu.au or www.bundanon.com.au for details.

Image: Arthur Boyd, Hanging rocks with bathers and Mars, c. 1985 (detail). Oil on canvas. Bundanon Trust Collection

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