Kevin Connor’s work in the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW reminded me of charcoal. Glimpses underneath his paint.
These charcoal sketches show the hullaballoo that is the Archibald Prize -the delivery of artwork, the parade of work in front of trustees, the hang.
On the train home, reading an article of his commission by Art & Australia to document the process of the Archibald Prize, I was feeling the pangs of that first love affair with an artist. When you get that spark of connection.
It was however, his portrait of sculptor Robert Klippel that I refer to as my “lightning bolt moment”. The realisation that space within a painting was paint itself, that drawing and paint were one and that drawing didn’t end when painting began.
From that moment in art school I read more on his work and found that the spark did not dull and his figurative works that had initially drawn me now led to his city-scapes in oil.
He has been an unending influence on my work. I noticed how in this early clumsy figurative study. I was already exploring space as a direct result from looking at his work (as per notes on the back).
His landscapes are just as fresh, they are quintessentially Australian in their use of light and space and his current work in the Wynne (as pictured in my blog I Am Not an Island)
His city scenes of Haymarket in ink are legendary but I love this oily early work, Morning Near Taylor Square 1983. (from Paintings & Drawings AGNSW Catalogue 1947-1988)