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CHARLIE SHEARD: The Music of Pure Abstraction

Author E.S. Pettit
Publisher Peking Art Associates
Published in 2022

Price A$ 150
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Catalogue Raisonné of respected Australian painter Charlie Sheard Preface by Zhang Zikang, the Director of the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing A respecter of tradition, yet one who is not afraid to engage and play with tradition, Sheard admires the genius and bravery of innovators and outsiders, art's icons and the anonymous alike, who have one thing in common: their ability to uncover what he calls “spiritual reality”. His odyssey to enter it through his own practice means he has both academically and experimentally studied the puristic motives of Song Dynasty literati Chinese landscape shan shui painting; the kaleidoscopic, transportive Buddhist frescoes of Dunhuang; the sensuality of 18th century French painting and her unorthodox Watteau; the great pioneers of colour and moreover, promoters of its equal prominence to form, from Titian and the colour-driven Venetian school to early Kandinsky as trailblazer of early 20th century Abstraction; and, more than anything else, the “bodily energy” of the Ancient Greeks. Foil to his youthful disguise, I had begun to catch glimpses of a man, now still and private, but who had generously, authentically lived his sixty years. As a mentor at The Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, invited professor of painting at Peking University, and founder of his own art school in his hometown of Sydney, his humble self-reflection “I taught to learn” says a great deal too about his perpetually fresh mentality.

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