It's not often that an artist gets to see almost a quarter of a century of their work in one space but in this episode Steve Lopes tells me what that feels like.
The impressive survey exhibition 'Encountered', curated by Kon Gouriotis and now showing at the S.H.Ervin Gallery in Sydney, brings together 120 of Steve Lopes' works including over 80 paintings and drawings, sketchbooks, prints and collages.
This is a must-see exhibition especially for those interested in figurative painting.
In my previous interview with Steve, he expressed the view that to be successful, a painting requires a gritty element - a bit of 'poison'. When I visited the exhibition a couple of weeks ago, though, it wasn't only that grittiness that struck me but also the humanity evident in the works, not only in the figures but also in the environments they inhabit.
Desolate wartime landscapes hinting at the loss of human life, a dog wandering across a suburban backlot, figures enigmatically positioned on a coastal landscape; these scenes exude an air of melancholy but often also a familiarity.
Steve has exhibited in close to 40 solo shows across Australia and in London and Hong Kong. He has won the Gallipoli Art Prize, the Kings School Art Prize and has been shortlisted in many others. His work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, the Parliament House Collection, the State Library of NSW and many other public and private collections.
We met at the S.H.Ervin gallery as the exhibition was being installed and we talked about a selection of works (pictured below), the story behind them as well as insights into his practice.
The show continues at the S.H.Ervin Gallery until 8 May 2022 and will then travel to Orange Regional Gallery where it will run from 21 May.
To hear the podcast episode click 'play' beneath the above feature photo.
Time stamps for each painting
* 3:30 Trench Life* 8:25 Aurora Track* 12:45 Creek Bed Study* 16:00 Uncommon Figures* 27:15 Warren Ellis etching and painting* 29:49 Railway Club
* Survey exhibition 'Encountered', S.H Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 26 March to 8 May 2022, then touring to:* Survey exhibition 'Encountered', Orange Regional Gallery, 21 May to 17 July 2022
* Steve Lopes website* Lopes at Stella Downer Fine Art* Lopes at Mitchell Fine Art* Lopes at Queenscliff Gallery* Lopes at Penny Contemporary * Talking with Painters 2019 interview with Steve Lopes * Guy Warren * Euan Macleod* Luke Sciberras* a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/168.2021/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PR%20AGNSW%20acquires%20Spanish%20Baroque%20masterpiece...
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