Arts & Entertainment

Arthur Boyd: Landscape Of The Soul

Curator Barry Pearce has called the Bundanon Trust’s show of Arthur Boyd paintings at Darlinghurst’s National Art School Landscapes Of The Soul.

A more apt title could not be imagined as Boyd’s long and productive history of landscapes and figurative works revealing his innermost psychological conflicts are laid bare for a new examination of this great Australian painter.

Coming from a family fecund with talent, it is the inclusion of his mother’s 1928 painting Figures In A Stormy Landscape that points the way for the young Boyd, who was handling oils competently at the age of 12.

The show covers two gallery levels with the downstairs dedicated to family works and Boyd’s development as an artist into the early 40s.

By the 1960s he has made his mark on the Australian art-scape with the disturbing and beautiful Nebuchadnezzar series, but it would be in the late 70s after purchasing Bundanon on the Shoalhaven that Boyd’s marriage of landscape and artistic force would evolve.

Upstairs the mainly Bundanon paintings absolutely explode with the power and majesty of an artist hitting his prime as he explores the relationship of the viewer to the landscape and reveals something deeply personal with his two striking nudes of his wife Yvonne.

Few touring shows this year will be so skilfully curated or sympathetically mounted, and along with its expertly assembled hardcover catalogue will be one that resonates for years to come.

Until Mar 9. National Art School, Crn Forbes and Burton St, Darlinghurst. FREE. Info: www.nas.edu.au

By John Moyle