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2020

“Virtuosic sense of place, of Tasmania… honestly, I don’t get how you do that.” – Stephen Lees

“The portrait of me by Richard Dunlop, Tim Olsen: The Man in Black, hung in the 2008 Archibald, was my Dorian Gray moment. Once a handsome young man, by then the sins, weaknesses and the decadence of my life were written all over my face, exposed in the most visited exhibition in Australia, for the whole world to see. It is the darkest, most lugubrious version of a beaten-up art dealer who has been poisoned by celebration. Expressing my amazement that it was hung at all to Edmund Capon, he replied: ‘It does have a certain likeness. He’s really captured you.’” Tim Olsen, Art Dealer, Sydney and New York, 2020

“Every time I go to create a new painting following a new train of thought, I realise that you have already explored it in images at least a decade beforehand.” – Anonymity preferred, correspondence from prominent Sydney artist

“It reminds us of some of the infinitely complex and subtle things that go into the art of painting… In fact, a painter looks at the world but no more copies it than a novelist or a filmmaker does. Even when a particular site is the subject of a landscape, or a set of objects on a table the basis of a still life, the painter has to translate elusive and changeable visual data., and even more importantly the intangible presence latent in what is seen, into objects of an entirely different order, composed of layers of pigments that must be brought into harmonious relations with each other; and these painted artificial forms must be subordinated to the abstract geometry of the picture plane and the frame.” – Sound advice from Christopher Allen, Art Commentator

“When I noticed that there were actually very few landscape paintings made about Queensland or North Tasmania, two places I dearly love, I decided some time ago to fill the void.” – RD 2020

“A compelling painter of light, the movement and moments of weather and terrain.” – Trudi Curtis, Art Dealer

 

Painted Collage

“Collage is a new element within Dunlop’s oeuvre. The artist has created large paintings that incorporate collaged reproductions of nineteenth century botanical illustrations. These re glued down to a plywood substrate, torn edges and meeting points between the sheets marking out a haphazard grid, and forming a tacit homage to one of Dunlop’s most admired artists, Ian Fairweather, who used sheets of cardboard abutted against each other as a painting surface. Over these paper records of old world/ new world discovery and exploration, Dunlop has applied his characteristic swathes of colour in broad brushstrokes, where meandering linear marks flow through the compositions to unite the disparate elements contained within.” – Marguerite Brown Curator MFA

“Collages take you more directly to the hand of the artist and deeper emotions of the hand-made and modesty of means.” – Advice from Mark Bradford

“If you are prepared to enter the microworld of one of Dunlop’s paintings they are worth the experiential journey, unlike a body of pictures being made by anyone else today.” – Evelyn Prusenhauer

2019

“[Dunlop] is emphatic in the fact that his sole goal is to put something beautiful in the world; something that was not there before.”Frances Vinall, 2019

“Dunlop’s imagery has an unusual feeling. He is not simply painting a landscape, but cracking it open, his eye swimming in to find the specific components, and how they are constructed. There is a sense that Dunlop is pulling things apart with his work, fragmenting and reforming to understand what it is that he sees.”Andrew Harper, 2019

“We do not find many cases of artists trying to rebuild a language for representing the world, in particular through the primary media of drawing and painting.” – Christopher Allen 2019

“Each painting asks its own set of questions.” – Cecily Brown 2019

“The Great Western Tiers (including Cradle Mountain and the Highlands Lakes District) is a wilderness area of Tasmania, adjacent to Deloraine where Richard Dunlop now lives. It is mostly world heritage listed, as it should be, being some of most pristine territory remaining on earth, and hard-fought to keep that state. There, Dunlop experiments with perspective, often conjuring a ‘floating’ interior which allows the picture plane, like language to open into ambiguous space, and allows the viewer to vicariously enter the work.” – Tattersalls Prize 2019

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 – they 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 cannot look at the complex botanical works of Dunlop without thinking of those lines and that “green age”.” – Phil Brown, 2018

“All a poet can do is warn. Art is an exceedingly slow but very effective long-term means of communication across a century or more.”Wilfred Owen, 1918

“One cannot help but think of Dunlop as an artist with a keen eye for detail and composition, but rather than create work slavishly to these watchwords, he chooses invocation.” – Dr Jonathon McBurnie, Director Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 2018

“A highly original voice in Australian art destined to be blue-chip.”Steve Cohen, art collector, USA, 2018

 

Reef Paintings 2007+

“One cannot help but think of Dunlop as an artist with a keen eye for detail and composition, but rather than create work slavishly to the watchwords, he chooses invocation.” – Dr Jonathon McBurnie

“Dunlop’s contribution to the nation’s painting discourse is an entirely original one in which he has consistently incorporated, intersected and challenged the long-established landscape, botanical, figurative and still-life traditions.” – Eric Nash

“The reef series presents Dunlop with a whole new set of challenges, most evidently the treatment of light, and the possibilities of landscapes that don’t simply stretch to a horizon but also extend above and below. Undoubtedly attracted to the challenge, Dunlop acknowledges the reef as a relatively untouched landscape subject offering a subject to play around with depth and space and multi-perspectives of levitating fish. Dunlop employs translucent films of colour, juxtaposed and intermingled with more defined marine life forms, to handsomely approximate the underwater dance of light – a shadow play in which depth perception in every direction is disarmingly distorted, and solid edges are constantly flickering and shifting with refractions triggered by every movement of both form and ocean.” Eric Nash Curator

2017

“When you paint something it becomes a fact.” – Peter Doig

“Some entirely different weather pattern of climate change altogether has appeared in North Queensland, which has copped more than a battering lately. At the moment, it’s being called Cyclone Debbie.” – ABC News, 2017

When people ask me how does it feel to be always near the eye of the storm, I think to myself that they don’t get it, because you to any fair person they would acknowledge that I am the Storm.” – Donald Trump, climate change denier, elected President of the Free World January 2017

Gallery Publications

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

“If there is a thread that unites Dunlop’s work regardless of subject, it is the awareness he brings of things that lie outside the realm of tangible matter, such as energy and spirit. This is reflected in the multi-dimensional quality to his work that is both aesthetic and conceptual. Dunlop is often credited with is hybridisation of established genres such as still life, landscape and botanical art, as he borrows conventions freely from each and merges them into a new painterly paradigm within the edges of the canvas. The merging of recognisable imagery from these genres with ambiguous forms, areas of abstraction and multiple perspectives is analogous to the impression of an experience, and the many ways it is absorbed through the mind and body.” – Marguerite Brown, Curator MFA