From Sharne Wolff…
It’s easy to relate to late Australian artist David Aspden’s (1935–2005) poetic canvases when we discover that music was always a leading spark in his work. The Artists’ Artist contains a selection of collages and some very large paintings (one on folded screen), spanning almost three decades of the artist’s output. It begins with work made in 1972, just a few years after Aspden’s appearance in the National Gallery of Victoria’s landmark 1968 exhibition The Field, and comprises a sort of ‘unplugged’ survey of the artists work over the period. The show takes it’s name from a quote by Utopia gallerist and artist, Chris Hodges, that Aspden “was an artists’ artist [who] …followed his own path and was unflinching in the face of changing fashions”.
Unsurprisingly, Aspden has cited Matisse as one of his influences, although a love of colour isn’t the only thing observed in his paintings. Aspects of the landscape – in particular, water, light, and the sensation of changing seasons – clearly played a major role. Through his use of shape and colour harmonies, Aspen’s work also speaks about relationships and the sometimes subtle ‘push pull’ of power roles. Immersed in these dynamic abstracts, we can imagine Aspden in his studio, absorbing the influence of the world around him – a record whirling on the turntable.
Until October 26
Utopia Art Sydney, Waterloo
Pic: David Aspden, Sydney Summer [detail], 1997. Oil on canvas, 150 x 488cm (diptych). Courtesy the Estate of David Aspden and Utopia Art Sydney.