Peter Atkins - Under Construction—Chaos and Order (studio shot) - 2015


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.

1963Born, Murrurundi, NSW
1983-84Art Certificate, Newcastle, NSW
1985Higher Art Certificate, National Art School, Sydney
 Currently lives and works in Melbourne
2017In Stereo GAGPROJECTS | Adelaide & Berlin
2015Obsolete Logos Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2015Polaroid Project (in collaboration with Alan Constable)  Arts Project, Melbourne
2014Silence,GAGPROJECTS/Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2013Jazz Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
Related Forms Bett Gallery, Hobart
2012Monopoly Project Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
2011painting and drawing, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Physical Settings, Martin Browne Contemporary, NSW
2010Hume Highway Project (Tolarno Galleries), Melbourne Art Fair, VIC
2009Welcome to LA, Readymade Abstraction, Tolarno Galleries, VIC
Studies, Greenaway Art Gallery, SA
2008Pre-formed, Martin Browne Fine Art, NSW
2007Readymade Abstraction, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2006Special Project #2: Remnant Threads, Victorian Tapestry Workshop
Precious Things, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2005the connected world, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Down My Street, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Peter Atkins: Paintings 2000-2005, Bett Gallery, Hobart
2004 The World Around Me, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2003Big Paintings1990–2003, survey exhibition, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, New South Wales; Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, Victoria
Paperform, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
2002lo-tech, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
Simple Pleasures, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2001Handmade, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Materiality, Sherman Galleries Hargrave, Sydney
2000Accumulation, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
Paintings and Works on Paper, Sherman Galleries Hargrave, Sydney
Live From Brunswick, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
1999Polyrhythm, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
1998Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Soft Edge, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
1997Urban Artefacts, Ipswich Regional Gallery, Queensland
1996Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
1995Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
APA Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
1994-95World Journal, VIII Triennale–India 1994, curator Annette Larkin, Lalit Kala Akademi New Delhi, awarded Gold Medal; Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia; Lawrence Wilson Gallery, Perth; Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra; Waverley City Gallery, Melbourne; Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney; New England Regional Art Museum, NSW; Ipswich Regional Gallery, Queensland; Benalla Art Gallery, Victoria; University Gallery, Launceston
1993Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
1991Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney
1990Galerie Cannible Pierce, Paris
1989Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney
1988Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney
1987Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney
Galerie Cannible Pierce, Paris
New South Wales House Gallery, London
2017Less Than - Art and Reductionism, QUT Art Museum, Queensland
 Bricolage, Adelaide Central School of Art, Adelaide
2016Art Basel, Hong Kong, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
 SPRING1883 Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne,
 The Traveller: Experiencing Movement, Time & Place. Curated from the Lyon Collection. The Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn
 Re-Purposed Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra
2015The Armoury, New York City, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia,
 SCAPE8 Biennale, Christchurch, New Zealand
 2014Melbourne Now  National Gallery of Victoria
2013Melbourne Now National Gallery of Victoria
Collective Identity(ies) - This Is That Time Lake Macquarie City Gallery, N.S.W.
Play Money Counihan Gallery, Brunswick, Victoria
Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria
2012Philanthropy - the Art of Giving Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria
Wish You Were Here Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia
Spring Group Exhibition Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, N.S.W.
2011Artist/Artists, Benalla Regional Art Gallery, Victoria
2010Quirky: From the Collection, Newcastle Regional Gallery, NSW
2009Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Museum Effect, Lake Macquarie Regional Gallery, NSW
Art For Science / Art Auction, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne
The Shilo Project, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne
2008Contemporaneous : Australian Contemporary Painting, Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, VIC
Bias Bound, Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
Summer Exhibition, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
Fletcher Jones Art Prize, Geelong Gallery, Victoria
2007Auckland Art Fair, Auckland, New Zealand
Winter Catalogue, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
Poets Paint Words, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW
Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
2006Strange Cargo: Contemporary Art As A State Of Encounter, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Touring to Broken Hill City Gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery, Orange Regional Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Tweed River Regional Art Gallery and Ipswich Art Gallery
Found Out-Art From The Found Object, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
Multiplicity - Small Tapestries, Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
Salon, Bett Gallery, Hobart
Selected Works From The Corbet and Yueji Lyon Collection Of Australian Art, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne
Recent Acquisitions At The N.G.V., National Gallery of Victoria
2005Glad-Wrap-Up, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2004One Of: Festivus 04, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Rubbish: Recycling as Art, Global Arts Link, Ipswich, QLD
2003New Acquisitions, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW
The Barcelona Studio: Fragments of a Brief History, Plimsoll Gallery,University of Tasmania, Hobart
ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid, Spain
MCA Unpacked II, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Home Sweet Home: Works from the Peter Fay collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
A Small Private Eye, Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Victoria
2002Group Exhibition, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
Dressing and Dreaming, Sherman Galleries Hargrave, Sydney
The Art of Collecting, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW
The Shape of Air (Flat), curator Heather B. Swann, Bett Gallery, Hobart
2000Uncommon World: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1999fashion & art, Gallery 4A, Sydney
Five Continents and One City, curator Gao Minglu, Mexico City Gallery, Mexico
ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid, Spain
Global Arts Link, Ipswich Regional Gallery, Queensland
National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria
Sixth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne
1998 Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Sydney
The Mecenat Collection, Sherman Galleries Goodhope and Hargrave, Sydney
Sets and Series, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
‘Something…’ , Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
1996-98Flagging the Republic, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, and regional galleries tour
1997Anon, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
The Crate Show, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
Tokyo International Art Festival, Tokyo
Za Moca Foundation Works on Paper, Tokyo
Sydney Fundraiser Exhibition, Gallery 4A, Sydney
Contemporary Benefactors Auction, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1986-87Systems End: Contemporary Art in Australia, curators William Wright and Takeshi Kanazawa, OXY Gallery, Osaka; Hakone Open-Air Museum, Tokyo; Dong-Ah Gallery, Seoul; Kaohsiung Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
1996Moët et Chandon Touring Exhibition, touring Australian state galleries
Contemporary Benefactors Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
 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