ARTIST - William Robinson
'The Cliffs from Goomoolahar'.
Original: Pastel on paper. 56.0cm x 75.6cm.
Edition of 99 Prints: Pigment colours on Hahnemühle 'Abrecht Dürer'.
56.0 x 75.6cm
William Robinson. (Manly, Brisbane)
William Robinson is widely regarded as one of the three foremost Australian landscape painters of the last 100 years.
"The leap in William Robinson's artistic output, from the early work to his mature paintings, appears immense. From his intimate domestic interiors of the 1970s, resonant with the colour and ambient light of Bonnard, it would have been impossible to guess that some twenty years later Robinson would have evolved an expansive and complex vision of the natural world in paintings such as the 'Creation' series landscapes. Nevertheless there is an ongoing intimacy of connection and experience with his sources of inspiration that is crucial to any understanding of the artist's work. It informs his interiors - which reflect not only Bonnard but the context of his own life - as much as it informs his paintings and drawings of farmyards and animals, and his self portraits.
Locality is important to Robinson and even his most transcendent late works have as their starting point a deeply felt connection with his own environment . the aim now became to include the viewer as an active participant; involved in sensations of vertigo, of immersion in the creeks, of flying high with the eagle. A feeling of total involvement is integral to major paintings of the rainforest in the 1990s that simultaneously convey an ancient and burgeoning environment, with its natural diversity, lush growth, mature trunks, myriad tendril roots, soft sprouting tree ferns and delicate mosses.
In 2001 William Robinson received recognition for his considerable artistic achievements in an important retrospective exhibition organised by the Queensland Art Gallery that travelled to the National Gallery of Australia. In Robinson's work of past and present it is well-recognised that his major contribution resides in his visionary response to the natural environment. He has added significantly to the Australian landscape tradition, moving beyond conventional ideas of 'landscape' to encompass fluctuating environments; of rainforest and ocean, ground and sky, day and night. His multi-dimensional grasp of time and space suggests metaphors for states of mind and being, life and death, continuity and transcendence. At the start of a new century, the profound spiritual resonances in Robinson's art remind us of the need to preserve an ancient natural world in the present; 'to keep faith', as Simon Schama wrote in Landscape and Memory, 'with a future on this tough, lovely old planet'."
Extract from an essay by Dr Deborah Hart
Dr Deborah Hart is Senior Curator of Australian Painting and Sculpture at the National Gallery of Australia. This text has been adapted from her essay in Darkness & Light: The Art of William Robinson, ed. Lynne Seear, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2001. All quotes not footnoted are from an interview with the artist, 13 February 2001, and are included in the Queensland Art Gallery publication. 1 Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory, Fontana Press, London, 1996, p.19
The 'Cliffs at Goomoolahar' was painted specifically for this fund-raising programme. As a William Robinson art print it is a perfect example of the master's work.
William Robinson's work are represented in the:
Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
First Chicago National Bank
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Parliament House, Canberra
Brisbane City Art Gallery
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Queensland University Art Museum
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Ipswich City Art Gallery
New England Regional Art Gallery
University of NSW
Melbourne State College
Stanthorpe Regional Gallery
Auckland City Art Gallery
Waikato Art Museum
and numerous private collections
Aberdare Art Prize Ipswich City Art Gallery 1985,
Archibald Prize Art Gallery of New South Wales 1987 1995,
Wynne Prize Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990 1996,
John McCaughey Memorial Prize Art Gallery of New South Wales 1991-92,