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oil painting

Graeme Altmann


Melbourne artist Graeme Altmann was born at the end of the Great Ocean Road, where the wind and salt have carved out some of Victoria’s most spectacular coastline. It is the coast that continues to inspire his current series of exquisitely lyrical and painterly works such as, “on the jetty” and “crab nets & jellyfish”.

“My inspiration has been driven by my love and fear of the sea. Rather than reflect traditional qualities of direct observation  I endure to emphasize not just what the sea and landscape looks like or what its material qualities might be, but the experience it engenders. My immersive practice reflects on the different languages I adopt and the uses for which I deploy painting and sculptural ideas, which go beyond the purely aesthetic. My paintings emerge through a succession of intuitive yet complex decisions, guided by the internal logic of each composition that is initiated from the first mark. Marine life, Seascapes and Landforms continue to inspire and emerge as part of my enduring artistic language.”

Altmann completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Deakin University in 1986. In 1995 Altmann undertook a residency at Arthur Boyd’s ‘Shoalhaven Studio’ in NSW and in 2005 won the Mission to Seafarers Art Prize.  The artist has a slew of admirers and serious collectors of his work, having held numerous solo exhibitions. He is represented in numerous significant collections including Artbank, BHP Billiton, Embassy of Switzerland, Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and Warnambool Art Gallery.

Meanwhile Altmann’s diverse studio practice of drawing, painting, sculpture and ship-insprird assemblages, still leaves him time to continue the highly-coveted surrealist ‘coast & boats’ series. The themes move through ideas of stability and change: of our human need to strive for new ground, while often suffering a sense of loss and displacement as we transition through life. “The floating boat captures the sense of being caught between the two worlds of where we are and we feel we should be. This distance from our desires can be a good thing as it forces us to look inward and reflect upon what it is we are seeking and what makes us fulfilled.” Similarly, the dramatic, twisted forms of the coastal Moonah tree captured in Altmann’s work invite the viewer to consider the forces that have sculpted their lives: “The shape of the Moonah tree is determined by where it has set down its roots and while it may end up growing in ways that are unexpected and even absurd, it has its own unique presence.”    

Solo Exhibitions

2013 Qdos Gallery, Lorne Victoria

2012 45 Downstairs, Melbourne

2012 Qdos Gallery, Lorne Victoria

2011 Artmelbourne, Melbourne exhibition centre

2010 Axia Modern Art, Melbourne

2009 Axia Modern Art, Melbourne

2008 Axia Modern Art, Melbourne

2007 Mary’s Place Gallery, Sydney

2006 Marlene Antico Fine Art, Sydney

2005 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

2004 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

2003 GreenHill Gallery, Adelaide

2002 BH Gallery, Sydney

2001 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

2000 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

1998 Coventry Gallery ,Sydney

1997 Coventry Gallery, Sydney

1996 Coventry Gallery, Sydney

1994 Warrnambool Art Gallery

Additional Info

Awards 2005 Mission to Seafarers (Winner) 1995 Residency, Arthur Boyd's ‘Shoalhaven Studio', NSW 1994 Cultural Association of the Western Plains and South Coast, (Winner) Publications 2000 Australian Painting 1788 – 2000 Bernard Smith. Oxford University Press 1998 Inside Melbourne, issue no 32 1996 Images Three, Art in Australia( edited by Neville Drury) 1995 Tuuram - Australian Council for the Arts 1994 Images Two, Art in Australia( edited by Neville Drury) 1993 Images in Australian Contemporary art ( edited by Neville Drury) 1993 Australian Art Investor vol 4 1991 New Art Five
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