David Rankin: Contemporary Works – Power, Insight, Quality

David Rankin by Allison Weibbye
David Rankin by Allison Weibbye
Detail David Rankin by Annette Hinkle

David Rankin in his Shelter Island studio with two of his recent works. Detail: Photo Annette Hinkle

Mossgreen Gallery is proud to partner with Charles Nodrum Gallery to simultaneously present two exhibitions by David Rankin (b. 1946) from August 17th 2017. This is a unique opportunity to view not only the breadth and depth across decades of the work of this acclaimed artist, but also the journey of his commitment, integrity, intensity and dedication as an artist.

Red-leaving later 2017 70_ x17_ acrylic + charcoal on canvas

David Rankin: Red-leaving later 2017, acrylic + charcoal on canvas courtesy artist and Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne

The two exhibitions amplify and illuminate the continuity and the connection between David Rankin’s thought provoking, transporting and meditative early work in the 1970’s, which will be exhibited at Charles Nodrum Gallery, and the very latest uplifting, moving and exciting work from this extraordinary artist at Mossgreen Gallery, 926-930 High Street, Melbourne.

The new works shown at Mossgreen Gallery have developed from Rankin’s early contemplation of what he wanted to achieve as an Australian artist. His dream was to express the anima, the life spirit and the essence of spiritualism in all nature.

As an Australian artist, David Rankin believed he could bring the elements of Western Art together with an understanding and love for the cultures of Asia and the Australian Aboriginal community.

He also felt that as Australia was closer to Asia than Europe it made sense to think about the art of Indian, Chinese and Japanese artists, and that one could not be an authentic articulate Australian artist without a love and respect for the artistic and spiritual expressions of the various Aboriginal peoples and cultures.

These new Lohan paintings take Rankin back to his earliest thoughts about painting and allowed him to ask himself whether those dreams of interweaving the cultures around him are still true and viable.

Garden-lohan leaving 2017 114_ x 52_ acrylic and charcoal on canvas

David Rankin: Garden-lohan leaving, 2017, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, courtesy artist and Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne

In the Lohan works, Rankin began to re-engage with the deep spiritual nature of Australia, its mystery and beauty. He was particularly influenced by a large painting he was commissioned to do thirty years ago by the UNESCO project.

The painting was titled Walls of China-Lake Mungo. Rankin began to contemplate Lake Mungo again. He wanted to re-engage with the deep spiritual nature of this area, being particularly moved by the stones; the still, almost ceremonial stones, often known as Gil Gal.

He started making gouaches, drawings and small paintings trying to capture the balance of vitality and serenity, change and stillness that he saw. The paintings evolved and changed as he meditated on the duality of this sacred place.

In these new works, he has created paintings that are alive with the details of charcoal from the camp fires, the calligraphy of the middens – ancient remnants of these campfires containing the remains of stone tools, stones, shellfish and bones – and the shifting sculptural lunettes, crescent shaped, wind blown sand dunes, and the colour and palette of both day and night, below and above.

Sanctuary ( grey mist) 2017 114_ x 52_ acrylic and charcaol on canvas

Sanctuary ( grey mist), 2017, acrylic and charcaol on canvas courtesy artist and Mossgreen Gallery

Capturing his development in this body of works, the Lohan series continues the theme of balance. The balance of stillness and vitality, of presence and absence, of thoughtfulness and wandering, and of arriving and leaving.

David Rankin: Mungo lunette II, 2017, acrylic, charcoal, pastel and chalk on canvas, courtesy artist and Mossgreen Gallery

David Rankin: Mungo lunette II, 2017, acrylic, charcoal, pastel and chalk on canvas, courtesy artist and Mossgreen Gallery

The balance that Rankin tried to capture as he developed his career as an artist, combines an understanding and appreciation of our Aboriginal community, together with our neighbouring countries in Asia.

David-Rankin 2

David Rankin in his studio in New York

As an artist, David Rankin continues to develop a respectful blend and balance of these cultures, together with a deep spiritualism and respect of the land of Australia in the Lohan works.

Lisa Fehily, Gallery Director, Mossgreen, Guest Author, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017

David Rankin: Contemporary Works

Starts: August 17th, 2017

Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne

LisaFehilyLisa Fehily: Biography

Lisa is a passionate gallerist and facilitator whose personal journey has seen her actively involved in all facets of the art world. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in the theory of art and design from Monash University.

With a keen and studied awareness of the artistic process and an innate ability to nurture, facilitate and push an artist’s practice, we thank her for contributing to expanding our knowledge of artist David Rankin’s work.

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