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Art Gallery of Western Australia - Abstract Earth: The Photography of Richard Woldendorp

          1 August - 8 November 2009


Richard Woldendorp, Coastline between Esperance and Cape Arid, Western Australia 2006

 

 

 

 


Richard Woldendorp

Coastline between Esperance and
Cape Arid, Western Australia

2006

Lambda digital print

140 x 105cm

Collection: Richard Woldendorp

© Richard Woldendorp

See Photo Gallery

 

For the last 50 years, Richard Woldendorp has been depicting the Australian landscape from a unique perspective – the sky. From his aerial vantage point he has photographed, with great skill and precision, shifting tides, moving sands, the reflective waterways, roads, farmed regions, forests and more.

Abstract Earth: The Photography of Richard Woldendorp showcases the incredible skill of this early pioneer of aerial photography, as it is almost impossible to distinguish whether his untouched photographic works are photographs or indeed painted works of art.


Woldendorp’s first aerial landscapes date from the 1960s, but it was a genre that he rapidly made his own. Nowadays, as a veteran of many flights and with seventeen books and numerous exhibitions behind him, the Dutch-born Woldendorp is acknowledged as a giant of Australian photography.


Abstract Earth is not just landscape; it’s the landscape as seen by Woldendorp, who trained as a painter and still views the world through a painter’s eye. Although each picture in the exhibition is a precise record of a landscape seen from the air, these scenes have the power and presence of large abstract paintings. Many works bear a striking resemblance to the canvases of Abstract Expressionists and Colour-Field painters, and to the works of Aboriginal artists. They may look like works imagination, but they are indeed astonishing records of concrete reality. of the


Seen together, Woldendorp’s powerful images reveal the incredible beauty and diversity of this country. As such, he has created a unique and important body of work that challenges how we experience and understand our place within the Australian landscape. By opening up this exchange, his photographs also provide space for a meditation on the critical relationship between the human and natural worlds as we shape ourselves in dynamic concert. 

 
Richard Woldendorp, Swimmers on Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Woldendorp

Swimmers on Bondi Beach,
Sydney, New South Wales

2006

Lambda digital print

100 x 75cm

Collection: Richard Woldendorp

© Richard Woldendorp

 
Richard Woldendorp, Sand dune, Windorah, Queensland, 1994.

 

 

Richard Woldendorp

Sand dune, Windorah,
Queensland

1994

Lambda digital print

75 x 100cm

Collection: Richard Woldendorp

© Richard Woldendorp

 

Abstract Earth is curated by John McDonald and R. Ian Lloyd.

Exhibition opening times

Abstract Earth: The Photography of Richard Woldendorp exhibition is on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from Saturday 1 August - Sunday 8 November 2009, 10am-5pm.  Closed Tuesdays. FREE... more

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Public Programs

Sunday 2 August at 2pm
Floor Talk: John McDonald and R. Ian Lloyd
FREE

Sunday 9 August at 2pm
Artist Talk: Richard Woldendorp talk
FREE

View video of artist talk on YouTube.com.

See also

        

Other exhibitions

 

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