Angus McDonald | Everyday Majesty

Olsen Irwin presents the upcoming exhibition Everyday Majesty, a show of new works by Angus McDonald (1961- ), inspired by the work of pre-eminent Australian ceramic artist Gwyn Hanssen Pigott (1935-2013), running from 30 April to 17 May 2014. McDonald has long been renowned for his signature still life paintings of exacting composition and meticulous execution. His works elevate seemingly everyday objects – beakers, bottles and bowls – into beautifully orchestrated blocks of colour and form. Everyday Majesty will feature approximately 20 small works, from gouache studies to oil on linen paintings, examining the understated simplicity of still life and the work of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. The exhibition will also feature Hanssen Pigott ceramics, including a large still life composition.

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Angus McDonald, Still Life II, 2014, Gouache on panel, 15 x 20cm

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott’s life was one of creating beautiful yet functional ceramics. From her earlier years making dinner sets, serving dishes and jugs, she later placed these into exacting still life groupings. It is these groupings that allow the viewer to delve further into the work, looking not only at the individual pieces, but the spaces between. We begin to see the subtle change in tone from inside to out, the translucency of the porcelain and the way light is either absorbed or reflected by the rounded surfaces. Hanssen Pigott’s work is an homage to restraint in its purest form. It is this inherent understanding of compositional balance, tone and light that unites the work of Hanssen Pigott and that of McDonald.

“I titled this show Everyday Majesty as a reflection on Gwyn Hanssen Pigott herself and the consistently sublime and beautiful catalogue of ceramic work she produced over her lifetime as one of this country’s significant artists.” – Angus McDonald, 2014

Angus McDonald
Everyday Majesty
Opening Saturday 3 May 2 – 4pm
Exhibition 30 April – 17 May 2014

Olsen Irwin
Works on Paper, Small Paintings and Sculpture
40 Queen Street
Woollahra NSW 2025

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Angus McDonald, Still Life I, 2014, Gouache on panel, 15 x 20cm

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Angus McDonald, Still Life III, 2014, Gouache on panel, 15 x 20cm

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Angus McDonald, Bowl I, 2014, Oil on linen, 30 x 30cm

Angus McDonald (b. 1961) is renowned for his exquisite oil paintings exploring the sublime. McDonald studied from 1993 to 1995 at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, winning the Brett Whiteley Scholarship in 1994. From 1995 to 2001 McDonald spent time in Europe, studying at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy and living in Leros, Greece. In 2006, McDonald visited Antarctica as expedition painter and photographer with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation. McDonald returned to Antarctica in 2008 as artist in residence with Aurora Expeditions. McDonald’s works have been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Olsen Irwin director, Tim Olsen, has represented McDonald since 1996. Angus McDonald lives and works in Lennox Head, NSW.

Although Gwyn Hanssen Pigott (1935-2013) usually referred to herself as a potter, she is consistently recognised as one of Australia’s most significant contemporary artists. Born 1935 in Ballarat, Victoria, Hanssen Pigott began a three-year apprenticeship with potter Ivan McMeekin in 1955. In 1958 Hanssen Pigott travelled to the UK where she worked with established English potters, Bernard Leach, Ray Finch, Alan Caiger-Smith and Michael Cardew. During this time she also established in her own studios in Notting Hill, London and rural France. Returning to Australia in 1973, Hanssen Pigott established a studio at Linden Rise in Tasmania. From 1981-88 she worked as the Potter-in-Residence at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Hanssen Pigott established a studio in Ipswich, Queensland in 2000, while continuing to engage in artist residency programmes in Japan and India. Hanssen Pigott passed away in 2013.

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Angus McDonald’s studio set-up featuring the work of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, 2014

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Angus McDonald’s studio set-up featuring the work of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, 2014

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