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2022

When the realization dawns that you’re likely doing just what the artist did when he made the work, a new appreciation of how well Dunlop shares his vision emerges. This is an artist who not only wants to share what he saw, but how he saw it”. – Andrew Harper

Richard’s paintings are always gorgeous to look at and they continue his quest for truth and beauty in a visual language that he has painstakingly developed. A language that is earthy and transcendental.” – Phil Brown

“Tuned into the world and environments around him, Richard Dunlop takes specific events, narratives and landscapes as a starting point and transforms them into paintings with continued resonance by pushing forms beyond the literal and into the elusive. The convalescing of specific references with Dunlop’s overarching perspective of their inextricable relationship to wider systems is seen in specific works such as Crossings (2021)
– which was painted during the invasion of Ukraine and refers to contemporary events all the while showing the historical influence of artists such as Grant Wood and Colin McCahon. Another work, In Search of Thylacine in the Great Western Tiers, takes the canonised and mythologised rapid extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger as the starting point to grapple with the colonial mindset in tandem with explorations of the Tasmanian landscape, where the artist lives. With art movements such as the Sublime and Picturesque – at the front of his mind, the artist lets in the layers of any given moment, Short Walks in North Tasmania is both a representation of the contemporary and the enduring.”
– Sophie Prince

“There’s a lot of beauty, but Dunlop also finds poetry – he balances the warm breath of a cow, observed as a steaming plume, with a night sky cascading with stars. It’s a beautiful, quite tiny fragment that the artist has clearly been engrossed by, and he really succeeds in capturing the wonder that clearly held his attention. Dunlop has strong ideas and is bold about following his instincts into new territory.” – Andrew Harper

“The earliest auction listing we have for Richard Dunlop is in 2008 and in total 37 works by the artist have been offered for sale, of which 21 (57%) were sold. The highest price recorded for the artist is $19,636 for Anzac Memorial (Flows to River) sold by Menzies in August 2017. No works have been offered for sale this year, and the last sale we have recorded for the artist was in 2021 [at Bonhams Climber 1 and 2 oil on board 20 x 180cm 2003 sold by Jan Murphy for $1200, sold at auction for $15,990 inc. premium].” – Australian Art Sales Digest (who view art as a butcher might view a beef carcass)

“Art that can woo…Dunlop has more than earned his reputation.” – Rebecca Agnew

2021

“Only when one is standing at exactly the right angle can you see and comprehend a new thing fully and for the first time.”Lao-Tzu 6th Century BC

“I have to record the glimpse seen at the highest point of affection – points of optical ecstasy, where romanticism and optimism overshadow any form of menace of foreboding. I have to paint pictures that have an effortless naturalness, not artificial or synthetic, not manufactured. I have to paint pictures that have no affectation through mental tricks, but are graceful and according to nature… Every part should be poetic and responsible for its own existence. It should be easy to take. I try to change the meaning of the thing painted into a new image – an elevated feeling.” – Brett Whiteley re ‘Lavender Bay’ paintings

While most of the risks Dunlop takes are well considered, some are quite the opposite. He describes painting as “an arena almost like a boxing ring…I don’t do preparatory drawings [and] the final paintings carry some signs of decisions made en route, erasures and changes of mind, remnants of under-painting all add to the ‘archaeology’ of a ‘picture’, an artificial thing like a novel or film.” The process, like his subject matter, is quite organic. Dunlop takes further risks by introducing random acts of violence to each work, and then attempts to resolve them, as would “occur in any natural settings.” Though, fittingly, he allows “earlier layers to persist…to give a sense of memories and the passage of time, just out of reach.” – Eric Nash, Curator

Your pictures give me energy in the morning.” – Adam Hudson, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist

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

“Dunlop’s work here is very much about fragments [of North Tasmania] that seize his attention and there’s a lot of movement captured in them – birds drift across a distant estuary, a waterfall gushes and sprays. Parallel to this, Dunlop also captures some beautiful panoramic visions that literally stretch themselves out, long and thin. He’s not averse to working within the physical shape of a painting either – some works are impressively massive and feel as though they are dripping over the edges, while others are elegant wisps of colour that stretch into the distance. These long works are particularly engrossing – you literally have to turn your head to take them in – and when the realisation dawns that you’re likely doing just what the artist did when he made the work, a new appreciation of how well Dunlop shares his vision emerges.”Andrew Harper 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

“Piguenit animated the Tasmanian landscape with clouds, Fred Williams with fallen foliage on Flinders Island, and I’ve tried to do the same with birds, whose wings can appear to literally ‘sail’ with no weight through light. I listen to classical music while I paint, benefiting from the pulse of the musician’s compositions, and the birds have tended to resemble musical notations and scores, as they are used to play with formal elements of depth of field and shifting perspective.”RD 2021

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

James Makin Gallery Publications

Sydney Contemporary Catalogue 2018 – Free digital download available.

“I now see that it is only late in life that a man can read. When you are young your aim is to finish the book. When you are old you want to slow down. Re-reading a book for the second or third time you are struck by the details.” – Edgar DeGas, 1888

Still Life, Still Death Catalogue 2011 – Free digital download available.

Less is Morte 2009 – Free digital download available.