We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 In line with NSW Health advice, the Art Gallery is temporarily closed to the public. Stay updated on our social media.

Title

Landscape elements 1

1997

Artist

Ken Whisson

Australia

1927 –

Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
Alternate image of Landscape elements 1 by Ken Whisson
  • Details

    Date
    1997
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil on Belgian linen
    Dimensions
    111.0 x 121.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of the artist 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    252.2018
    Copyright
    © Ken Whisson

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ken Whisson

    Works in the collection

    18

    Share
  • About

    Ken Whisson began painting in Melbourne during the anxious wartime years of the 1940s. Throughout the course of his long career, his work never completely shed the sense of the nervy atmosphere that served as a backdrop to his origins as a painter. His work built on the traditions of figurative expressionism that flourished with Melbourne’s avant-garde movements during the war. Artists including Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester served as artistic mentors, but in particular, it was the Russian émigré painter Danila Vassilieff, who in 1944 invited Whisson to study with him, that left an enduring impression on his work. Vassilieff’s lessons of working from the immediate; from an intuitive while deeply engaged response to his environment, remained etched in Whisson’s artistic thinking.

    In 1977 Whisson moved to Perugia, Italy but continued to regularly visit and exhibit in Australia, where his work became increasingly recognised for his distinct aesthetic that sits somewhere between abstraction and observed realities and convey physical and internal worlds in states of perpetual motion.

    Whisson developed a distinct style of building compositions through sketch-like forms, incorporating blank areas of the canvas, so that space becomes an active, and at times dislocating presence in his work. 'Landscape elements 1' images the environment through a series of impressions of the modern industrial world; planes and cars feature amongst the skeletons of buildings in a composition that appears unsettled and unfixed.

    'Landscape elements 1' is indicative of Whisson’s unique artistic interpretation of place, formed, it would seem, from surveying of the world through the filter of the nervous system and creating corresponding impressions of the tense relationship of forms within ungrounded space. It is a characteristic statement of the flux that exists between people, objects and the experiences of their environment.

Other works by Ken Whisson

See all 18 works