Warwick Fuller has painted the Australian landscape for almost forty years. During this time he has gained not only a unique intimacy with his subject matter and an unforgettable personal style, but international renown, countless awards and accolades, and a reputation as one of Australia’s foremost landscape painters. His 2017 exhibition at Lost Bear Gallery, titled It’s the Light, is a testament to the power of prolonged meditation. Technical mastery is matched with an ability to elicit an intense emotional response. These are works that will quite literally make you cry out with joy, surprise and awe, sometimes all at once.
Sun, Smoke, Storm and Stubble, near Young shows a landscape drenched in extremes. The composition wheels dizzyingly around a centre of apricot cloud and a knife-edge of sunlight. A truly monumental work, the drama of the original scene has been transmuted skilfully into a celebration of the sublime in nature and our smallness before it, something all too often forgotten in our technological age.
Painted outdoors, racing against time, his sketches are closer to the pure moment of perception. The energy and unhesitating confidence of each brushstroke is something truly remarkable – and rare – to behold. In Last Sun Impression, Lake Lyell nature unfurls in an ecstasy of green, blue and pink. He halts the passing of time and immortalises the unrepeatable occurrence of light. Nature’s grandeur is merged with humanity by the touch of the artist’s hand and as such the painting becomes more than mimicry; it is a paean to the feelings that witnessing such a scene produces first in him, and now in us.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, these works display a profound understanding of Australia’s incomparable light and its effects on the landscape. Fuller’s artwork is a welcome adherence to the fundamental reasons why art is valued: because it gives pleasure and because it reminds us of something greater than ourselves.
Exhibition Review by Caterina Leone
View the exhibition here