12 Mar - 09 May


Landscapes west of Sydney

Fieldwork is an exhibition that will survey plein air painting (painting outdoors) west of Sydney between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The region, which encompasses the Western Suburbs, Blue Mountains, and the Hawkesbury, has been a popular artists destination since European settlement and its portrayal in landscape art of this period has made an important contribution to Australian art.

Surprisingly, this history and significance is often overlooked in displays or accounts of Australian art which are inclined toward other locations such Sydney’s harbour and coastlines or the artist’s camps near Melbourne at Box Hill and Heidelberg.

Fieldwork includes significant and seldom-seen paintings and works on paper from the Art Gallery of NSW’s collection by prominent artists including Hilda Rix Nicholas, Julian Ashton, Elioth Gruner, JJ Hilder, Sydney Long and Charles Meere.

A highlight of the exhibition is Spring frost 1919, arguably Elioth Gruner’s crowning achievement. Painted at Innes Farm in Emu Plains, the painting was awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and is one of the most celebrated and recognised works in the Gallery’s collection. Gruner’s Spring frost will be displayed within close proximity to where it was painted when Fieldwork travels to Penrith Regional Gallery for the first time in March 2021.

Fieldwork is an Art Gallery of New South Wales touring exhibition.

12 March – 9 May 2021

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