Our feature artist this week is the irrepressible landscape master, Geoff Dyer. Yet aside from his evocative and broody landscapes for which he is most famous, the Tasmanian born master is equally adept at portraiture.
He paints one portrait per year of a fellow Tasmanian, and since 1993 Dyer has been shortlisted ten times for the country’s most prestigious portrait prize, the AGNSW’s Archibald. In 2003 Dyer won the coveted prize with his depiction of author Richard Flanagan. He’s also been a finalist for the Wynne Prize an impressive 9 times.
This Tasmanian theme dominates his landscapes too; you’d be hard pressed to find any artist as masterfully fluent in capturing the essence of Tassie’s brutal and beautiful extremes as our own Geoff Dyer.
The man has vintage and this makes him infinitely collectable. His landscapes, such as the one featured here entitled Midlands, are as notoriously formless as they are suggestive. With a thickly loaded palette knife Dyer scrapes the line of complete abstraction, but not quite. His densely textured oils are at once easily recognisable and completely obscure, a paradox that captivates his advocates.
Dyer’s scale is also impressive and befitting his epic subject matter. The larger proportions of the stormy Midlands piece (198 x 168cm) is a perfect example of his clever use of scale.