Modern Times explores the rugged bushland in upcoming exhibition by Andy Pye

Aug 8, 2022
  • Article by Charlotte Huston

Presented by Melbourne-based design store, Modern Times, Magma : Gamma is an exhibition of original paintings by Andy Pye and captures the essence of the raw bushland and rock forms of the southern Grampians in south-west Victoria with an “effervescent optimism”.

Australian painter Andy Pye has exhibited widely in a number of Victorian galleries and his works are held in private and corporate collections in Australia, the US, Canada, France and the UK.

Artist Andy Pye. Photo: Jaccob Mckay Photography.

Pye has a natural ability to select a scene of the Australian bush and capture it, following the legacy of the Australian Modernists, he pays homage to their heritage.

Working out of his bush studio near Eldorado in northern Victoria, Pye paints en plein air, capturing the native bushland.

From Thursday 11 until Tuesday 23 August, Magma : Gamma will showcase Pye’s idiosyncratic approach to landscape painting.

Gamma All The Way To The Coast, Original Artwork By Andy Pye, Oil on Linen, Framed in Tasmanian oak, 1300 x 1900mm, 2022.

With considered brushstrokes that simultaneously convey effortless movement, Pye’s paintings feature familiar landmarks such as Mount Abrupt, Mount Sturgeon and the various waterways there.

Heightened and respectful, these images also highlight the spiritualism of the area, central to the creation stories of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung people who have had an association with the area traditionally known as Gariwerd for more than 30,000 years.

“I see the world of art showing us how long. The ever-sceptical postmodern movement has mutated (as predicted) into out-and-out nihilism and darkness,” explains Pye on his artistic approach.

Andy Pye, Gamma Hits An Eel Family, Oil on Canvas, framed in Tasmanian oak, 1010 x 1010mm, 2022.

“Our trees and this land is speaking. Mid-Century modernist Art in Victoria didn’t begin the story – but it took it to a public place in a loving way. It wasn’t Von Guerard who showed us how magnificent the landscapes are, it was Vassilieff, Namatjira, Tucker, Boyd et al. Sometimes crew are like ‘dudes trying to copy Boyd’. You’re joking? If I don’t pay homage to their brushstroke and technique, who will? Not the postmodernists.”

Alongside the exhibition, Pye will also host an artist talk and live painting event on Saturday 13 August, where he will discuss the life, sound, movement and solitary landscape of the Australian bush.

The exhibition opens Thursday 11 August at Modern Times’ Fitzroy store, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy.

Lead image Garlwerd Tree Scene, Oil on Linen, framed in Tasmanian Oak, 1100 x 1600mm.

Also in Melbourne, Austin Maynard Architects adds a ‘suburban friendly coat’ to a Northcote home.

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