Powerful lines and organic forms tell complex stories: first solo exhibition Paddy Bedford outside Australia

Powerful lines and organic forms tell complex stories: first solo exhibition Paddy Bedford outside Australia

Paddy Bedford, Old Bedford, 2005,122 x 135 cm, ochres and pigment with acrylic binder on Belgian linen © Paddy Bedford Estate

Aboriginal Art Directory | 02.10.09

Utrecht, 1 October 2009

Powerful lines and organic forms that tell complex stories
First solo exhibition Paddy Bedford outside Australia from October 8 at AAMU

The grand retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2006/2007 highlighted the status of Paddy Bedford as one of Australia’s leading, contemporary artists. A striking personality who, in a short period of eight years, built up a rich oeuvre with a completely unique, innovative style. For the first solo exhibition of his work in Europe forty of his canvases and gouaches have been specially brought to the Netherlands from Australia.

From October 8, 2009 until April 11, 2010 AAMU presents the first solo exhibition of Paddy Bedford outside Australia entitled ‘Crossing Frontiers’. His work is characterised by a very strong graphic imagery, striking colours and sparse, but precisely placed lines often punctuated by white dots. All the forms that Bedford used are represented in this exhibition: ochres and pigment with acrylic binders on canvas as well as gouaches and pastels on paper.

The compositions are simple and balanced but the stories they tell are complex. They depict the landscape where he lived his whole life and travelled as a stockman, in combination with the Dreamtime Stories of the emu, turkey and cockatoo that are associated with his family. Also featured are historical events, the clashes between the European settlers and the Indigenous people such as the Bedford Downs Massacre, the brutal murder of a group of his family members in the early 20th century.

Besides the canvases and gouaches of the Paddy Bedford Estate ‘Crossing Frontiers’ also includes works of various private collections and the Essl Museum in Vienna. Paddy Bedford was one of eight artists commissioned to create a permanent work for the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.

About Paddy Bedford:

Paddy Bedford (c. 1922 – 2007) was born at Bedford Downs Station, a large cattle station in the Kimberley in Western Australia, and belonged to the Gija people. He worked as a stockman, and as a senior lawman he was involved throughout his life in painting for ceremonial purposes. It was only in 1998 that his great talent was discovered and that he began to paint on canvas. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin soon drew the praise of art critics. Works of Bedford are now included in many international collections.

A full colour, 96 page catalogue accompanies this exhibition and is available in the museum shop and selected bookstores at € 20.


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Contact Details

Gallery: Museum of Contemporary Art
Contact: Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
Telephone: +61 2 9245 2400
Address: Circular Quay West George Street The Rocks Sydney 2000 NSW

 

Powerful lines and organic forms tell complex stories: first solo exhibition Paddy Bedford outside Australia

Paddy Bedford, Untitled, 2004, 51x 76 cm, gouache on acid-free crescent board © Paddy Bedford Estate

 

Further Research

Gallery: Museum of Contemporary Art

Artists: Paddy Bedford

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