Graeme Drendel: The first dance

Melbourne-based painter and printmaker Graeme Drendel creates intriguing scenes drawn from his personal observations. His subject or subjects; lone figures, people in pairs, or in small minglings, are depicted on endless open landscapes and in abstract spaces; often devoid of any concrete clues, our focus turns to the eccentricities of the individual and the curious interactions that take place between others.

Drendel continues to study intimacy and human connection in his latest body of work, yet these new works are subtly influenced by the artist’s experience of the current pandemic. The figures aren’t touching, as if held apart by ‘a sense of nervous anticipation.’ In several works, there appear to be communication issues and maybe unfulfilled desires, and in others, a greater sense of intimacy is already coming to the fore. Drendel says that ‘many of the paintings are simply ‘things’ that happen in the studio, they are the result of a kind of stream of consciousness process whereby ‘anything’ can and does happen.’ As with Drendel’s broader body of work, these keenly observed studies of human nature are captivating yet confounding.

Graeme Drendel, The first conversation, watercolour on paper, 76 × 56cm. Courtesy the artist and Beaver Galleries, Australian Capital Territory

Beaver Galleries | Online
14 to 31 October 2021
Australian Capital Territory

Please note, due to the current COVID restrictions in the ACT, viewing the exhibition is by appointment only or via online.