b. 1963, Murrurundi
Lives and works in Melbourne.
'Atkins does not intend to exaggerate the importance of an object, sign or symbol, instead he sets out to invest it with a new or altered meaning, in the process divesting (although never denying) it of its heritage. Like David Lynch’s cinematic vignettes of the small and banal, or Raymond Carvers vivid narrations of everyday feelings and occurrences. Atkins illuminates the extraordinary in the ordinary, quietly reassessing the familiar in order to endow it with the capacity for fresh understanding and renewed significance.’
- Felicity Fenner
Peter Atkins is a leading Australian contemporary artist and an important representative of Australian art in the International arena. Over the past twenty five years he has exhibited in Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Mexico. He has been described as 'a cultural nomad' by the former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Daniel Thomas, 'an obsessive psychological wanderer' by curator Simeon Kronenberg, 'a visual anthropologist' by the director of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia, Alex Baker, 'a visual terrorist' by Spanish Curator and arts writer Paco Barragan and 'a hyper-caffeinated bowerbird' by arts writer Ashley Crawford.
Atkins’ practice centers around the appropriation and re-interpretation of readymade abstract forms that he documents within the urban environment. This collected material becomes the direct reference source for his work, providing tangible evidence to the viewer of his relationship and experience within the landscape. Particular interest is paid to the cultural associations of forms that have the capacity to trigger within the viewer, memory, nostalgia or a shared history of past experiences. Recent projects including 'Disney Color Project', 'Hume Highway Project', ‘Station to Station’ and ‘Polaroid Project’ evoke within the viewer our collective, cultural recall. Over the past decade he has used the term 'readymade abstraction' to describe his practice. A term he coined to define the space between non-objective abstraction and representation. Peter states that ‘My work could be described as an amalgamation of Modernisms attention to process and materials, Pop Arts re-contextualization of mundane mass cultural objects, Minimalisms desire to achieve simplicity through the elimination of all non essential features and Post Modernisms re-examination, appropriation and deconstruction of all that has gone before. These amorphous boundaries are a calculated attempt to blur the distinction between High Art, Low Art and popular culture.’
His work is represented in the collections of every major Australian State Gallery including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney as well as prominent Institutional, Corporate and Private collections both Nationally and Internationally. In 2010 his solo exhibition for Tolarno Galleries at the Melbourne Art Fair titled Hume Highway Project was purchased in its entirety for The Lyon Collection in Melbourne.
|SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS|
|Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Benalla Art Gallery, Victoria; Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria; Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, NSW; Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW; New England Regional Art Museum, NSW; Chartwell Collection, New Zealand; Waikato Museum of Art & History, New Zealand; Monash University Gallery, Melbourne; Shell Company of Australia; Allen, Allen & Hemsley, Sydney; Corbett and Yueji Lyon Collection, Melbourne; Pat Corrigan Collection, NSW; Peter Fay Collection, NSW; Derwent Collection, Tasmania; Esk Collection, Tasmania; Artbank|
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