New York-based Australian artist Peter Daverington returns to Melbourne this November with an exhibition of new paintings, titled Weltlandschaft.
A contemporary painter of rare technical distinction, Peter Daverington has garnered significant recognition for his unparalleled ability to mix pictorial styles and art genres. In his latest exhibition at ARC ONE Gallery, Daverington explores the landscape painting tradition of 16th century Northern Europe with a mélange of fantastical interjections. Against a backdrop of rolling valleys, cavernous skies and trees, seeminglyendless paths lead to covert horizons, rivers stream down floating geometric planes, and mountainous forms are peppered with candy-stripes, flaming tops and carnivalesque motifs.
Moving away from linear perspective in favour of more isometric projections of space, Daverington creates captivating pictorial ‘maps’ that encourage the viewer to travel the canvas at free will. The exhibition’s German title, Weltlandschaft, meaning ‘world landscape’, refers to a period in Netherlandish painting of imaginary panoramic landscapes depicted from encompassing, elevated viewpoints. Inspired by the work of Joachim Patinir and Hieronymous Bosch, Daverington fuses these compositional techniques with his own unique aesthetic to create truly contemporary and surreal interpretations of the genre. In these landscapes early Renaissance, geometric hard-edge painting and even 1980s videogame design find an unlikely harmony.
With several of the works’ titles referencing Sumerian mythology, Daverington seeks out points of connection across periods and cultures, and weaves a mythical narrative that reflects his own longstanding interest in ancient history, Mesopotamia and painting traditions beyond the West. In Weltlandschaft, Peter Daverington presents fantastic topologies of the imagination; he transforms us into armchair travellers, contemplating bygone and imagined vistas made mystic in a playful engagement of the unknown.