Born in Hobart in 1940, Anthony (Tony) David Woods developed an interest in the visual at an early age. Initially focusing on landscape watercolours, he soon became interested in figurative work. In 1968 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship, spending two years living and working in New York City where he developed an interest in abstraction, inspired by the environment around him.
Following the loss of his entire New York studio due to a fire, Woods returned to Australia. Returning to Australia, he was an early participant in Sydney’s renowned Yellow House with close friend Brett Whiteley before turning his back on the seductively heady lifestyle to life in Melbourne.
Since 1962, Woods has staged many solo exhibitions across Australia and has been featured in numerous significant group exhibitions including John Kaldor Art Project 2 – held at the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Gallery of Victoria in 1971.
His work can be found in significant art collections across the country including the National Gallery of Australia, Queen Victoria Museum, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Artbank, the University of Tasmania, Australian National University, and Flinders University.
Film, super 8 and video have also formed part of his practice, with work being seen at the Melbourne International Film festival, Experimenta and regular showings as the Super 8 Film Group.
Published in 2013, Tony Woods: Archive was a superbly produced book that documented his fifty year career as an artist. Edited by curator, Andrew Gaynor, the book was an illuminating retrospective of Woods’ artistic achievement as a contemporary artist and filmmaker, and was complimented by 198 reproductions of his artwork dating from 1962 through to the present day – a majority from his own private collection.
“Tony Woods: Archive restores the reputation of one of Australia’s ‘lost’ contemporary artists, Gaynor said of the books artistic tribute. “Woods is revealed as a committed observer of life, environment and human encounter over some five decades.”
For more information about the artistic life of Tony Woods, visit: www.tonywoods.com.au for details.
Image: Tony Woods – courtesy of the Artist’s Family