Private Lives: The artist as collector


As people whose works successes and failures are under constant public scrutiny, it is refreshing to see this role reversed. S.H. Ervin presents Private Lives: The artist as collector, inviting the public to view the personal art collections that have attracted the eyes of leading contemporary Australian artists.

With over 160 works on display including etchings by Francisco Goya and William Hogarth, New Guinean artefacts, prints by Brian Blanchflower, Fred Williams and Ron McBurnie, paintings by Ken Whisson and Ben Quilty, Australian ceramicists Lex Dickson & David Usher, sculptures by Jan King, Olifffe Richmond and Paul Selwood – the list and diversity of art goes on.

Inspiration and influences range from paintings by world renowned artists to mass-produced memorabilia and one-of-a-kind curisoities. The multitude of art pieces from the quirky to the landmark makes it clear that there is no single source of inspiration.

A glimpse into the private world of the artist, it includes personal collections of Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis, Leo Robba and Adrianne Richards, Peter Sharp, Euan Macleod, James Powditch, Henry Mulholland and Michael Kempson.

“Our collection is a big part of our lives, there is no strategy, and it’s not about money, it is about living with beautiful things made by people who view the world in their own special way. Most of the works in the collection are by artist friends, so it’s like living in a big shared house but without the drama”,saysLeo Robba and Adrienne Richards.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery will be hosting talks on Sunday afternoons with artists and their partners to discuss the intricate workings of their collections. The next two talks are this Sunday 15 February with artists Henry Mulholland and James Powditch, and the following weekend 22 February with artist Peter Sharp, alongside artist couple Leo Robba and Adrienne Richards.

Intimate, informative and inspiring; the exhibition is refreshing in its change of perspective.

S.H. Ervin Gallery
24 January – 22 February

Image courtesy the artists and S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.

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