Nicky Ginsberg of NG Art Gallery is delighted to welcome Nicole Kelly to Kensington Contemporary, whose atmospheric oil paintings will captivate the imagination, as they lead us on a personal journey through the Australian landscape, inspired by memory and emotion. ‘Desire and reason’ infuses rural NSW with life and vitality, and provides a window into our natural world tinted by personal experience and creative expression.
Kelly, a Sydney based painter, won the 2009 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and has been a finalist in a plethora of exhibitions including the 2015 Wynne Prize and Mosman Art Prize. A graduate of National Art School in 2009, Kelly’s artistic career has flourished, as her en plein air practice and unique creative expression has drawn international attention.
Welsh artist John Beard, winner of the 2007 Archibald Prize, has described Kelly’s work as, “honest, physically rich and determined… [Nicole] is not afraid to make mistakes. Not a follower of the fashionable graphic style of her contemporaries, but prepared to look at artists before her and to take risks.”
Kelly’s unique, expressive representation continues to receive high acclaim, and in 2009, drew the attention of art scholar and then director of The Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon, who celebrated Kelly’s work for having “spirit, that intellectual dynamic that comes out of the soul of an artist.”
Inspired by the landscape of NSW Bundanon, where Kelly recently completed an Artist In Residence Program, ‘Desire and reason’ trembles with temporality, as the pastel hues seem to move and shift across the canvas, brought to life by the warm sense of passion, familiarity and reminiscence. Kelly draws inspiration from classical literature and artistic greats such as Matisse and Van Gogh, as she not only transcribes a time and place, but a sensation, an ambience, an experience of reflection.
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