Lloyd Rees - looking for light

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21 June - 11 August 2002

The effects of light were a major influence on Lloyd Rees and his art. Paintings, drawings and engravings from The Holmes à Court Collection and the collections of Sir James and Lady Cruthers, Robin and Liz Forbes, Wesfarmers Arts, Perth and the Rees Estate bring in to focus the artist and a life time dedicated to art.

Focusing on three distinct areas that were of major importance to Lloyd Rees: Sydney Harbour, South Coast (NSW) and Tasmania.

His rudimentary sketches, or 'notes' made on the spot, can be seen as reference points to the finished oil paintings in the exhibition.

In Lloyd Rees: The Last Twenty Years 1 , Lloyd Rees wrote:

"All my early thinking on the matter has been that you can paint reflective light but not the source of it. In a realistic sense that is true but when I think round it, painting is not reality - painting is symbolism. When I faced up to the actual question of putting the sun in a picture, I looked back. I thought of Claude Lorrain, I thought of Turner and I thought of a wonderful painting by Van Gogh in Amsterdam in which there is a circle in the middle of a drawing, with light coming out all round it. I thought in each case: It's not an actual sun, it is symbolic.

Therefore in September Sun, Sydney Cove to get the drama of the feeling about it, I actually have a shape there as the sun. It has interested me tremendously."

In a perceptive review of his 1969 Retrospective Exhibition in the Courier-Mail, David Cox wrote: "The story of this man's working life begins in light. Even in the earliest pictures, light is painted - light isolated on walls of buildings, trunks of trees, and the hazy Australian light which mutes the distances" and ended his review with this prophecy: "… the story is far from ended. When it does, I am sure it will end in light."

Works in the exhibition include September Sun, Sydney Cove and Pacific Façade 2 , The Holmes à Court Collection, Self Portrait (with headland), Rees Estate, Looking East - mid afternoon , Cruthers Collection, Australian Façade , Wesfarmers Arts, Perth, and examples of lithographs and selected drawings.

Alan and Jancis Rees (the Artist's Son & Daughter-in-law) will be visiting Perth for the opening of the exhibition. Please contact Anne Meredith, Gallery Manager or Belinda Carrigan, General Manager, Collections - on 9218 4540 for interviews, images or further details.

1 FREE, RENEE (in collaboration with Lloyd Rees). Lloyd Rees : the last twenty years . Craftsman House, Sydney 1990.