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Major retrospective of Australian abstract painter Robert Hunter on display at NGV Australia
Robert Hunter, Untitled no. 1, 1987. Acrylic on plywood, 122.0 x 244.5 cm. Tarrawarra Museum of Art. Gift of Eva Besen and Marc Besen AO 2001 Estate of Robert Hunter.

MELBOURNE.- Renowned for his complex geometric white-on-white paintings, Robert Hunter (1947 – 2014) is being celebrated in a major retrospective at NGV Australia featuring more than 40 works which traverse his more than 40-year career.

At age 21, Hunter was the youngest artist to participate in the landmark exhibition The Field at the NGV in 1968. This exhibition announced the arrival of late-modernist abstraction into Australia and opened the new NGV building on St Kilda Road. By the age of 27, Hunter had established himself internationally and was invited to participate in major international exhibitions including Eight Contemporary Artists at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1974.

Throughout his career, Hunter maintained an unwavering commitment to a singular aesthetic, creating complex patterns using everyday materials such as masking tape and white Dulux house paint. Each of Hunter’s paintings took up to three months to create and test the very limits of visual perception, revealing clean, crisp geometries and subtle hints of colour upon close inspection.

In the 1970s Hunter made numerous, ephemeral large-scale works by painting directly on the wall, and two important examples have been recreated in this exhibition. A number of other key works from the 1960s, including a rare colourful painting made while the artist was still a student, also are on display, surprising even those familiar with his works.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV said, ‘Robert Hunter maintained a distinctive practice for more than four decades. Upon close inspection, his finely nuanced paintings reveal endless variations of colour, light and geometry that draw the viewer into a deep contemplation of visual perception. This is an exhibition that invites visitors to slow down, look closely and admire the achievements of one of Australia’s finest abstract painters.’

Robert Hunter is FREE and on display from 27 April – 26 August 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.

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