Shepparton Art Museum presents Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is delighted to present Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul, A Bundanon Trust touring exhibition in its first Victorian showing, alongside a new exhibition curated by SAM celebrating the Boyd family legacy in ceramics.

This is the only time that these two major exhibitions will be presented together, offering visitors new understandings of the relationships and connections between Boyd’s landscape paintings and ceramics.

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul features works principally from Bundanon Trust’s collection.

The three-year national touring exhibition curated by Barry Pearce, Emeritus Curator of Australian Art AGNSW, explores Arthur Boyd’s lifetime of landscape paintings.

The exhibition features more than 40 paintings, including a group of masterpieces borrowed from major state art museums, plus 20 works on paper as well as letters, photographs and sketchbooks spanning almost half a century, featuring works from Boyd’s adolescence through to his final years.

Alongside Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul, SAM will present The Boyd Family: a legacy of pottery, an exhibition showcasing many of the over 140 ceramic works by the extended Boyd family from the SAM Collection. Celebrating decoration, the domestic and the everyday, these works reveal the way in which art and design intersected for the Boyd family and the influences and inspirations that crossed art, architecture, literature and life.

The exhibition features works by William Merric Boyd (1888-1959) and Doris Boyd (1889-1960), Arthur Boyd’s parents; Lucy Boyd (1916-2009) and husband Hatton Beck (1901-1994); Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) and Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery which included collaborations between Boyd, Neil Douglas (1911-2003) and John Perceval (1923-2000); Guy Boyd (1923-1988) and Martin Boyd Pottery; David Boyd (1924-2011) and wife Hermia Jones (1931-2000); Mary Boyd (1926-2016) and husband John Perceval (1923-2000).

Dr Rebecca Coates, Director of SAM says, “Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul is a tour de force. We are delighted to be bringing this major exhibition to our regional audiences. Together, these two exhibitions explore the trajectory of one of our nation’s most important artistic families. Landscape and nature inspired and influenced so many of the extended Boyd family, and Australian flora and fauna is celebrated and revealed in a myriad of ways in the paintings and ceramics featured in each exhibition.”

“Presenting the Boyd pottery drawn from the SAM collection alongside Bundanon’s Arthur Boyd collection provides a unique insight into the Boyd national legacy,” Dr Coates said.

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul offers the first in depth look at the artist’s powerful early grasp of the landscape as a subject. Bookended by Boyd’s youthful paintings of the Mornington Peninsula in the 1930s and the final phase of his career depicting the Shoalhaven area in southern New South Wales in the mid-1970s, Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul considers not only the topographic landscape, but also the landscape Boyd carried within himself.

As a friend of Boyd, guest curator Barry Pearce brings a unique insight to his curatorial role, allowing this exhibition to move beyond the traditional academic understanding of Boyd’s career and delve deeper into the rich personal landscape of the acclaimed Australian artist.

Barry Pearce said, “Boyd’s profound delirium of light and dark, swinging between euphoria and apprehension through diverse notions of landscape over almost half a century, is the focus of this exhibition. The story of Arthur Boyd is one of genius evolving out of childhood innocence to which in some ways, through extraordinary complexity, it returned at the end of a long productive life. His was an artist’s odyssey through landscape both seen and imagined.”

Linking these two exhibitions is archival material showcasing painter Arthur Boyd’s first studio, a purpose-designed building by Robin Boyd (1919-1971), conceived and built specifically for his cousin. This exhibition forms part of a series of collateral events organised around the Centenary of Robin Boyd’s birth.

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul, A Bundanon Trust touring exhibition
14 September 2019 – 24 November 2019
The Boyd Family: a legacy of pottery drawn from the SAM collection
14 September 2019 – 15 March 2020

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