The University of Melbourne unveils Peter Tyndall Retrospective at Buxton Contemporary

Buxton-Peter-TyndallRepresenting the artist’s most comprehensive show to date, The University of Melbourne has unveiled a major retrospective solo exhibition spanning half a century of Victorian-based artist Peter Tyndall’s work.

“We are delighted to be sharing the expansive work of Peter Tyndall, in his most significant solo exhibition in Melbourne for the past 15 years. Attracting a cult following since his stellar rise in the 1970s, Tyndall is known by many in the Art world as unique in his vision,” said Samantha Comte, Senior Curator Art Museums.

“This exhibition celebrates half a century of his constant, inventive permutations, looking at art, ourselves and the world, which we are eager to introduce to a new generation.”

Featuring over 200 works, drawing from the University’s significant collection alongside pieces on loan from national institutions and private collections, including a number of unseen works. The exhibition will encompass the entire museum and be accompanied by an engaging series of public and educational programs on the artist’s work.

“The exhibition at Buxton Contemporary encapsulates fifty years of evolution from my early effort to fill and then to empty the picture plane, to the breakout from that formal void in a sudden realisation of our boundless interconnections, and the consequences of that realisation. The execution is everything I could have hoped; simple, complex, grounded and clear,” said Peter Tyndall.

Over the past 50 years, Peter Tyndall has been preoccupied with the fundamental question of the construction of meaning, and how art, language, presence and absence operate in relation to one another in comprehending the world.

Married with a philosophical insight into these relationships is a playful sense of humour and curiosity, contrasted with his virtuosic and exacting painting technique. Works from the 1970s to the present day will be shown alongside a selection of previously unseen pieces that underpin his practice.

These include major bodies of work such as 130 unstretched canvas paintings from 2018, and works on paper from the 1970s, alongside milestone works such as The Right Angle Giver, his installation in the Arsenale for the 1988 Venice Biennale (one of a handful of Australian artists ever to be included in the Venice Biennale curated exhibition).

The exhibition, brought to life by Melbourne designer Ela Egidy, has been inspired by Tyndall’s foregrounding of the frame and apparatuses of display. It will be accompanied by the most comprehensive publication to date and include essays from the exhibition curators, Doug Hall AM, and Dr Claire Roberts.

The exhibition design is the culmination of a nearly year-long conversation between designer, artist and curators. I see the design as being in dialogue with the works and more importantly, with the world surrounding it,” said Designer Ela Egidy.

This builds on the way Peter’s own works operate – that they have a specific visual language but an engagement with the entire world and beyond – and the process and outcome of the design embraces and is intended to extend his methodology.”

This in-depth exhibition, comprising over 200 paintings by Peter Tyndall, continues the focus Buxton Contemporary places on the practices of artists, and tendencies within contemporary art through its programming.

It is committed to showcasing the work of living Australian artists, and using exhibitions, publications and public programs of their work to provide audiences greater insight into their achievements, working methods and artistic sensibilities.

Peter Tyndall
Buxton Contemporary – The University of Melbourne, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Exhibition continues to 16 April 2023
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Installation view of Peter Tyndall exhibition, Buxton Contemporary, The University of Melbourne, 2022-2023, courtesy Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne. Collection: Geelong Gallery Scotchmans Hill Vineyard art prize 1989, the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery Melbourne and Anna and Morry Schwartz – photo by Christian Capurro