(above) Mr & Mrs Stahl, oil on canvas 2020
MARCH 13 – 27, OPEN WED – SAT 11 – 4
Melbourne-based painter Tony Irving has been exhibiting his sensitive realist artworks since the mid 1960s. His works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
The urban and suburban landscape has frequently been at the heart of my subject matter, but in recent years I found the modernist architecture and pools of California’s west coast offered a surprising world. There’s space, distinctive light and colour and even a sense of mystery that I was keen to capture.
I was taken by the sense of suspended animation and solitude at private pools. People are away from the everyday in these artificial and somehow contrived environments. I imagine different stories when I’m composing and painting but I wanted there to be an ambiguous atmosphere for the viewer – who are Mr & Mrs Stahl? Who is the Guardian?
The paintings are open ended, leaving the viewer to place their own interpretation on the characters in the paintings, to
create their own narrative. Or not.
My technique owes a lot to classical painting but I loved being able to use really high intensity and discordant colours in
these worlds, to convey the otherness that I felt.