When we think of still life painting, one might be inclined to think of hyper realistic paintings of fruit on purple tablecloths. Adam Pyett’s paintings work to break that mould, featuring rougher brush strokes, changed up colours and more non-traditional subjects.
Lucky for the art lovers among us, the Melbourne artist has brought some of his works to Geelong this month for an exhibition at the Geelong Gallery. The exhibition charts Pyett’s continued interest in still life over the course of his career. Subjects range from vibrant Australian natives in glass vases, to items of significance in pop and consumer culture; one of his works is a skull biting down on a Foster beer can, sitting atop a milk crate with a Ramone’s t-shirt draped over it.
That’s not the only reason Pyett’s works are a little bit different to what you might consider a traditional still life. Rather than an interest in a particular subject, Pyett’s work is designed to showcase the medium of painting itself. Colours are at the same time dark, highly contrasted and dramatic. Form, light and brushwork is explored to create contemporary still life artworks.
Pyett has previously been shortlisted in several Geelong Gallery painting prizes including the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize in 2014 and 2016, and the Fletcher Jones Art Prize in 2006, 2008 and 2010. To further reflect his success, Pyett’s work is held in public and private collections across the country, including in the National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, Monash University Museum of Art, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park and the Macquarie Bank Collection. This exhibition will encompass works spanning over 10 years of Pyett’s nearly 20-year career.
When & Where: Geelong Gallery, Geelong – Now until July 16. No bookings required and entry to the exhibition is free.
Visit www.geelonggallery.org.au for more info.
Written by Lauren Muscat