(Australia 01 May 1935–26 Jun 2005)
152.4 x 244.0 x 2.8cm stretcher
This high-keyed, optically thrilling painting was the first work by Aspden to be acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It reveals the artist’s genesis in the avant-garde of 1960s Sydney in which a generation of young painters – inspired by contemporary developments abroad, most significantly in the United States – turned to a highly refined and reductive formalism as a new way of thinking about and making art. In this ‘new abstraction’, concerns of subject and social or geographical context were subsumed by the purist, formal qualities of the work.
While Aspden’s early experimentation in the 1960s with shaped canvases, expanses of uniform colour and hard-edged geometic forms gave way to a freer, more painterly style in the 1970s, some elements of his early hard-edge colour-field phase remained. These included his habit of working on a large scale, his fascination with colour and formal relationships within an image, and his interest in the idea of art as an experience, in which the autonomous object had a direct and active relationship with the viewer.
John Murphy (Author), Gallery A Sydney 1964 - 1983, Campbelltown, 2009, 101 (illus.), 110 (colour illus.), 112.
'Tackling The Field' by Natalie Wilson, pg. 1-29., Tackling THE FIELD 2009, 2009, 4 (colour illus.), 25. NOTE: This work was hung in an adjoining room for the duration of the 'Tackling THE FIELD' collection focus display.
'Art prizes awarded', pg. 10., The Sydney Morning Herald 14 Jul 1972, 14 Jul 1972.
'Tailor-made for cultural limbo' by Bruce Adams, pg. 22., Sunday Australian 30 Apr 1972, 30 Apr 1972.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly Jul 1971, Jul 1971, 606. Special Gifts
'Tuning in to an artist' by Alan Warren., Herald Sun 06 Aug 1969, 06 Aug 1969. Exhibition review.
'Stamina, a realist and some graffiti' by Patrick McCaughey., Age 06 Aug 1969, 06 Aug 1969. Exhibition review.
'Making the eye twitch' by Alan McCulloch., The Sydney Morning Herald 06 Aug 1969, 06 Aug 1969.
Gallery A (Melbourne) (Australia) (Author), David Aspden (1969), Melbourne, 1969. cat.no. 4
Anne Ryan (Australia) (Curator), Helen Campbell (Australia) (Assistant Curator), David Aspden: the colour of music and place, Sydney, 2011, 14-15 (colour illus.), 80, 88.
'Harmonious effects' by John McDonald, pg. 14-15., The Sydney Morning Herald 13 Aug 2011-14 Aug 2011, 13 Aug 2011-14 Aug 2011, 14. Article appears in 'Spectrum' supplement.
David Aspden (1969), Gallery A (Melbourne), 04 Aug 1969–23 Aug 1969.
Hard Edge, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 07 Aug 1999–24 Oct 1999.
Australian abstraction 1965-1985: from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 09 Dec 2006–25 Jan 2007.