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

Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour

1985-1986

Artist

Stieg Persson

Australia

1959 –

Alternate image of Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour by Stieg Persson
Alternate image of Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour by Stieg Persson
Alternate image of Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour by Stieg Persson
Alternate image of Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour by Stieg Persson
Alternate image of Our faith part 1; no 4 - the case for and against colour by Stieg Persson
  • Details

    Date
    1985-1986
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil on board, blackboard paint on canvas
    Dimensions

    a - panel a, 61 x 61 cm

    b - panel b, 61 x 61 cm

    c - panel c, 157 x 214 cm

    d - panel d, 61 x 61 cm

    e - panel e, 61 x 61 cm

    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of Dr Colin and Mrs Elizabeth Laverty 2005
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    65.2005.a-e
    Copyright
    © Stieg Persson

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Stieg Persson

    Works in the collection

    4

    Share
  • About

    In common with many other artists in the 1980s in Australia, Stieg Persson developed a distinctive visual language through looking at the history of art. While the use of visual references to other artists has been called appropriation, it is a reductive term which does not allow for the many individual approaches at this time to acknowledging the legacy of history in contemporary art. Persson utilised elements of abstraction, figuration and the decorative in his canvases. This particular work dates from the mid-1980s when he reintroduced colour to his work after painting exclusively in black and white for a number of years.

    The large centre panel includes shards of collaged canvas carefully applied to the 'base' canvas. This black and white panel has abstracted forms which almost look like fragments of text torn up and displaced on the picture surface. Persson has frequently worked with a cursive, almost calligraphic, line in his paintings which suggests decorative excess while recalling a particularly elegant, extravagant and old-fashioned signature.

    The adjacent smaller panels have exquisitely painted elements suggestive of 17th century Dutch painting. Pearls emerge from a dramatic black ground and parrots hover over this void. The abstract and figurative panels are disjunctive, but both are seductive and compelling as they speak to an exploration of both the exhaustion and viability of different visual languages. Like a 'vanitas' painting bringing to mind our imminent mortality, these panels appear to embody the death of painting while celebrating its continuing power to engage.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Stieg Persson