Category Archives: Paintings By Year

2018

New images coming soon, probably following the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Exhibition, A Northern Survey, July 2018

“Much of Dunlop’s work is an inquiry into the human need for order and control, and escaping into his fictive worlds – which only seek to assume a sense of reality, and in doing so, transcend it – can act as a circuit breaker for the viewer so that they may instead see the interconnectedness of things; not only of art traditions to each other, but also of person to place, culture to nature, the finite to the infinite, and memory to experience.” – Eric Nash, 2018

“Like Fairweather, Dunlop is attracted to Eastern philosophy, particularly the Taoist vision of the intertwined relationship between nature and man, heaven and earth. For me, Dunlop’s work is spiritual although he’s a practical fellow who expresses no spiritual aspiration in conversation. He allows the viewer to add layers of meaning and I cannot help but regard his work as inherently spiritual. That spirituality is encapsulated in his vision of the life force that flows through everything. Dylan Thomas wrote about that in his poem The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower. That force, wrote Thomas, “drives my green age”. I can’t look at the complex botanical works of Dunlop without thinking of those lines and that “green age”.” – Phil Brown, 2018

“It could be good, it could be great, it could be terrible. Without the capacity for it to be terrible, it won’t be interesting. Because there is only risk in merit, and most merit is in risk.” – David Walsh, MONA, a one-person art movement

2017

2016

The Perfumed Garden is a lush and almost mystical work that has layers of paint and layers of meaning. His paintings are not literal. They are composites constructed through memory and are imbued with love.” – Phil Brown

2015

“Powerfully, even poignantly themselves as these objects may be – utterly present as phenomena of the known world – they seem endowed at the same time with the status of emissaries from another more ‘real’ one, which we recognise but could not name. It is in this sense that they might be said to approach the sublime. But to put it in those terms we must intend by “sublime” what lies mysteriously beyond the limits, beyond the threshold of what we can grasp, of where we have actually been – though not where, in moments of delight and enlightenment, the awakened spirit may take us.” – David Malouf, Being There, 2015 (quoted with the kind permission of the author, 2015)

“His luminous botanical paintings juxtapose then meld the traditions of both East and West to present us with an overwhelming fecundity of nature’s beauty. This master of seduction plays at the intersection of conventions of poetry, landscape and still life to create a luminal space for the imagination. This allows the viewer to invest Dunlop’s works with his or her own interpretations of life, death and immortality.”  Dr Christine Dauber, University of Queensland, 2015

“Richard Dunlop has had a successful career as a contemporary artist for a sustained period of more than twenty years. In this time, he has been at the forefront of painting’s resurgence in popularity and appeal, and has never been shy of breaking with established art conventions, such as his blending of elements from botanical illustration with still life and landscape traditions.” – Eric Nash, Perc Tucker Gallery 2015

2014

“The aesthetics impress as usual. Richard’s paintings are always gorgeous to look at and they continue his quest for truth and beauty in a visual language he has painstakingly developed. A language that is earthy and transcendent. Richard invents his painterly environments often alluding to the nuances between water and life, which is a very Taoist idea.” – Phil Brown, 2014

2002

“The function of the artist is to describe the world in the first person: this is my life, this is my set of experiences. If you get twenty-five or thirty people like Bill Robinson, Joe Furlonger and Richard Dunlop who describe their world in the first person and you weave them together you start to get some sort of fabric of our society. I’ve got a basic belief that the eccentrics, the mavericks, the one-offs are the real artistic mainstream.” – Ray Hughes, 2002

“My father used to say, pretty much the only thing that he ever said, was that the mind was a country that you could develop, you can build and build it in every direction. My mother believed in developing the country of the heart. I sought to develop the country of the hands.” – Patti Smith

2000

Having returned from living in Switzerland, and a divorce, I had no studio at the time in Australia, but was offered one in a wooden building with “tongue-in-groove” walls to which I stapled canvas (also being unable to afford or store “stretchers” in the short term). I was initially frustrated that the impression of the tongue-in-groove walls would persistently “show” through otherwise finished “botanical” works. I decided to just submit to it, and completed a series of tabletops in a vertical format like Chinese landscapes, working from the top of the canvas down the walls. Until I could afford the stretchers, some of the (more autobiographically interesting, in my opinion) paintings reveal the impression of the tongue-in-groove wooden walls on which they were made.  Richard Dunlop, 2000

1999

Richard Dunlop’s show at Ray Hughes Gallery gently envelopes you as you walk in, inducing a mild, pleasurable sensation of which Matisse might have approved. The overlay of lianas dividing the surface into Matissean arabesques works well, as do the fine lines etched into the leaves with a nail.” – Sebastian Smee, 1999

“Since 1992, I’ve strived to conceive images which I regard as a fresh contribution to the Australian landscape painting tradition, drawing on ‘Asian’ verticalised views of landscape rather than a rather hackneyed European panoramic view. So many of my pictures are intended to be ‘read’ from the bottom up, and with a tension between macro view and micro-details like the best of neo-Romantic painters or 19th century botanists. But it’s not an exclusive interest. I dislike artists that have as an overarching goal the creation of a strong ‘brand’ which taps some current fashion or pot of money. The best painters in history ignored that stuff, maintaining long-distance eyes both to the future and past. The sediments of time revealed their voices to be almost inadvertently distinctive of their age.”Richard Dunlop, Catalogue for Hinterland, Ray Hughes Gallery, 1999

1991-1997

“Dunlop bridges the divide between the natural and the artificial or the organic and the inorganic. This relates to Dunlop’s earlier works where he has explored hierarchical authority and its abuse by church and state. In this way, the works may refer to the state body, the body politic, all bound and revealed by the body of human knowledge.”Beth Jackson, Griffith University, 1994

“I’ve just purchased Richard’s Night Garden: Rising Damp and the Promise of New Growth. It’s as powerful and brooding a painting as anything I’ve seen at any Biennale.” – Louise Mitchell, Director, Artspace, The Gunnery, 1997

Dunlop’s painting has always been intelligent and it has always had significant content. The viewer has to work harder to unearth his meaning. In their derivation and method, these are highly introspective images.” – Michael Richards, 1991

Richard Dunlop uses the domestic garden as an image for the interplay between the human impulse for orderly processes of control and classification, and nature’s inherently disorderly processes of development through trial and error. There are real species, contrived species, ambivalent species such as carnivorous plants, and ambiguous organisms whereby the evolutionary decision to be plant or animal has not yet been taken; all are linked together through networks of vines and tendrils which both connect and entrap.” – Leonie Stanford, 1996

“The gardener is someone who paints with forms. The excellent form produces a harmony of the faculties, which prompts us to label the garden beautiful.” – Emmanuel Kant

“To paint one must be alone. I cannot become involved with people. I paint for myself and have no sense of mission, nor do I feel any compulsion to communicate, though naturally I am pleased when it seems I have done so.”  Ian Fairweather

 

1998

“I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Dunlop’s recent exhibition at your gallery. Dunlop’s growing achievement interpreting landscape has no real parallel among the work of his contemporaries, dealing as it appears to do with the stubbornly unfashionable subject of natural beauty converging subtly with environmental and broader moral concerns. I think his work will survive beyond the current fixation with the passing parade of narcissistic identity politics in which some artists opportunistically see a parade coming down the street and jump out in front. If anyone needed reminding of my favourite Keats quote “Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” – Professor Bernard Smith 1998

“Everything is collapsing and transforming deep inside the picture” – Per Kirkeby, 1998

“You make it look so easy” – Del Kathryn Barton, 1998

 “Painting is dead’’ – Paul Delaroche 1839 (long dead)

“My father was a bit of a beatnik and his favourite topic, almost his only topic, was the idea of the mind as a country you could develop, and develop, and build and build. My mother believed in the country of the hand. For me it’s the hand.” – Patti Smith