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Philip Hughes: Painting the Ancient Land of Australia

Philip Hughes, Glenn Murcutt


Taking in deep varicoloured mines, broad rolling plains, vast imposing landforms and exquisite calm bays, the landscape paintings of Philip Hughes comprise a love letter to Australia

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From Karinjini in the west to Fraser Island in the east, via the northern Kimberley and far southwest of Tasmania, Painting the Ancient Land of Australia follows painter Philip Hughes, palette in hand, across the length and breadth of the country.

Hughes’s work is defined by his breathtaking portrayals of natural landscapes and human interventions, informed and inspired by maps and aerial photographs. With a bold graphic style complemented by expressive blocks of colour, Hughes’s practice seems particularly suited to the Australian landscape, as notable for its ecological nuances as it is for its stark extremes.

Featuring work created over a span of three decades, a mixture of elegant sketches alongside larger painted artworks, Painting the Ancient Land of Australia presents a deeply personal exploration of a continent.

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'A consummate production, weaving details of historic, cultural, geographical and geological material, making a major contribution to contemporary art practice with an urgency for the global environmental crisis'
Studio International

'In his spare, sophisticated style, with exquisite use of colour, he records, too, the impact of climate change and human intervention on the land … this book is lavishly illustrated'
Arts Society

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 29.5 x 25.0 cm

Extent: 180 pp

Publication date: 28 January 2021

ISBN: 9781760760717

Contents List

Introduction by Glenn Murcutt • The Paintings

About the Author

London-born Philip Hughes's work focuses on the natural environment, its structure and nuance, and on the effects of human intervention and activity. The subject of two published monographs, Hughes has been exhibiting work in group and solo exhibitions since the late 1960s and his work is held in the public collections of the National Gallery of Australia, The British Library, The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the New York Public Library, among others.

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