83 Moncur St Woollahra is a curated space for rare and exceptional works of art across multiple mediums. Focus is on the intimate and domestic, with artworks representing the abstract and spiritual.
In the window this week…
"fiesta in seville"
Synthetic polymer paint on board
183 x 138 cm
Copyright © The Estate of Stanislaus Rapotec
Stanislaus Rapotec, a leading Australian painter since the Sixties, was an exponent of Abstract Expressionism and the creator of tough, spontaneous and demanding works. In the early 1960s he was considered one of Australia’s most radical painters, producing original compositions filled with sweeping, gestural brushstrokes.
Rapotec was born in Italy, relocated to Yugoslavia and arrived in Australia in 1948. He held his first solo exhibition in Adelaide in 1952.
Rapotec was a self-taught painter with a strong grounding in art history that was the result of significant independent research. Inspired by contemporary work he had seen in Europe and by the American Abstract Expressionists, he pushed beyond these influences to create distinctive images and his own unique style.
In order to maintain interest and spontaneity Rapotec painted directly onto board without preliminary drawing or sketches. He preferred to work with a very wet ground and described his process as “flooding” the board with a ground wash before starting, to ensure the desired aesthetic outcome. Paint was then applied quickly and the completed work never returned to for fear that touching it up would ruin it. Rapotec used the same brush for each colour in a series of controlled but spontaneous strokes resulting in a strong, concentrated arrangement of horizontal and vertical marks and bold orbital forms.
Rapotec obtained several Australian prizes, including the Blake Prize in 1961, he was made a member of the Order of Australia, and his works are found in several public and private galleries and collections.
Steel and polyethylene varnish
83.5 x 90.5 cm (Irreg)
Copyright © Paul Selwood
Paul Selwood first studied sculpture at the National Art School, Sydney in 1964. He spent 6 years in London and was invited to teach sculpture at the Bath Academy of Art in 1969 and 1970, returning to Australia in 1971.
Throughout his career his work has gone through many stylistic changes but Selwood is first and foremost a sculptor who puts form before poetry.
The current work is from Perspective Cutouts, a series of elegant wall sculptures made from panels of rusty metal. By varnishing one panel and leaving another untouched, he creates a convincing illusion of perspective. The work is perfectly flat, but conveys a powerful sense of three dimensions. It is no exaggeration to say it seems to leap off the wall.
Selwood has been creating the perspective cut-outs since the early 1980s when they began as a speculative drawing process on paper with the possibility of future three-dimensional sculpture. On paper, he differentiated the planes with washes and shading of paint. On steel, he wanted to keep the rust, and used flat and gloss varnish on opposite planes which considerably enhanced the illusion of the third dimension. As steel is associated with mass and weight, the works are further enhanced by an illusion of impossible gravity. Heavy architectural forms appear to be floating.
Paul has received many prizes and awards and has presented over forty exhibitions of sculpture in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Alice Springs and Denmark. His works are held in many public and private collections.