Journeys - artistic, spiritual and physical - take centre stage in a major exhibition spanning the 40-year career of Australian-born artist Denise Green.
Presented by the University of Queensland Art Museum, Denise Green: Beyond and Between – A Painter’s Journey includes more than 100 paintings, drawings, and photo-collages produced by the artist between 1972 and 2015.
Exhibition curator Michele Helmrich said the exhibition was the most comprehensive overview of Denise Green’s work undertaken in Australia and comprised her early work from the 1970s right through to recent photo-collages.
“Denise’s work takes us on a journey through abstraction often combined with a figurative element, but her early 1970s paintings and drawings and her recent photo-collages incorporate observed reality more directly,” Ms Helmrich said.
An insightful look at Green’s early travels that influenced her practice, Helmrich expands, “We see it in the young artist’s wonder at the Manhattan skyline and in her recent works incorporating photographic images of the Ardennes forest – the site of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
Green, born in Melbourne in 1946, grew up in Brisbane before studying at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Sorbonne in Paris.In 1969 she settled in New York where she completed a Master of Fine Arts at Hunter College, The City University of New York (CUNY).
Her work first gained critical attention in 1978 when it was included in the exhibitions New Image Painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Young American Artists at the Guggenheim Museum.
Retrospective exhibitions of Ms Green’s work have been held in major museums including the P.S.1 Centre for Contemporary Art/Museum of Modern Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
However the UQ Art Museum exhibition holds a personal significance for Green, with a major gift of Green’s artworks donated by her husband, Dr Francis X. Claps, to the University in 2013. “The overriding consideration when making this gift was my early beginnings in Brisbane – this was where my odyssey began,” Ms Green said.
“I’m thrilled this exhibition provides an opportunity to see our gift come to life while also revisiting the historical path my work has taken and the ideas that influenced my career.”
As Helmrich aptly summed up, “Emotion, together with the stimulus of ideas drawn from philosophy, travel and exchanges with fellow artists, lies at the heart of these works.” And it is this spirit articulated throughout Green’s works, which pulls at the emotive strings of all artists who have a passion for travel, artistic growth and exchange.
Denise Green | Beyond and Between – A Painter’s Journey
26 November 2016 – 7 April 2017
UQ Art Museum, Qld
Courtesy the artist and UQ Art Museum, Qld.