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peter gardinerTitle
Landscape 2010 No. VIII

Location
In storage

Place of origin
New South Wales, Australia

Year
2010

Media
Painting

Medium
Oil on canvas

Dimensions
210 x 180 cm

Credit
Winner Calleen Art Award 2011

Accession number
CAL2011

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Peter Gardiner was born in 1965 and studied painting at the University of Newcastle where he graduated with a High Distinction in 1990. He has received numerous awards and recognition during his career including the Maitland Art Prize (2003), the Muswellbrook Art Prize (2006) and the Kilgour Prize (2016). He has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize, the Sulman Prize, the Dobell Drawing Prize and the Mosman Art Prize. In 2009/2010 he was the recipient of the Australia Council Barcelona studio in Spain. Gardiner has an extensive exhibition history that includes shows in China and numerous solo and group exhibitions in Sydney and Newcastle. He is represented in the collections of the Newcastle Regional Gallery, the University of Technology, Sydney, Deakin University, Newcastle University, Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, Gippsland Regional Galley, the Macquarie Bank Collection and Artbank, as well as numerous private collections. He lives and works in Newcastle.

Landscape 2010 No.VIII is the artist’s paean to the paintings of El Greco (1541-1614), the great (Cretan-born) Spanish artist whose religious-themed Mannerist works place him in the forefront of Western art history. Gardiner’s landscape is dark and harbours a sense of foreboding. His use of a palette of cold, bluish greys is particularly effective in conveying the gloomy atmosphere his thematic concerns demand. The ominous clouds are hit by a harsh white light that underscores their looming presence. Gardiner’s brushwork is also an extremely potent tool. The surface is energised by the almost frenzied painterly impositions the artist adopts, pulling and pushing the paint across the surface to create marks that reflect not just his making but also the emotional fervour he puts into the expression of his subject. While this is a (literally) dark painting it holds a powerful beauty and its message, a salutary warning about the impact of man on the environment.