QUIXOTIC

Courbally-Stourton Galleries - Cork Street - London - 1996

Don Q - Preaching to the Bandits - Private Collection A.C.T.

Don Quixote & the Bandits - Private Collection Australia.

The objective of this project was to develop a body of work, which interrogated the concept of 'QUXOTIC', through the representation of Cervante's classic 'Don Quixote'. 

don q 1

Small oil study for 'Don Quixote'

I began this Quixotic project as a consequence of being offered an artist-in-residency in Spain with Delfina Foundation.  I met Delfina shortly after she had renovated her Andalucian Studios in Casa Manilva, Spain, in 1992. Delfina was well known at the time for her studio/residencies in East London, which she later transferred to Bermondsey on the South bank of the Thames near London Bridge.  Delfina has since gone onto develop the Delfina Foundation.  

don q 2

'Mambrino's Helmut' - Private collection - Australia

As a post-modern Australian painter, the challenge was to produce a series of paintings and drawings capable of making a contribution to the significant history of visual artists who have dealt with this theme including; Franciso Goya, Honore Daumier, Gustav Dore, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, to name but a few. A quick ‘image search’ on Google, will open a vast archive, which is not to mention the poems, plays, ballets, opera, musicals, cartoons & films, which have addressed the subject.

don q 5

'Romancing the Necromancers' Oil on linen (detail)

What became obvious in my research was that those artists who were either unable to, or did not wish to maintain the physiognomy of Don Quixote and his noble squire, Sancho Panza, have no claim on the subject.  Thus it became obvious that any attempt to deal with the Don required a rigorous study of both the psychology & the physiognomy.  Further my objective was not to simply reference, copy or collage the subject within my work, as some of my Australian post-modern contemporaries might have done, transforming it into their own oeuvre, or hand. My objective was to take up this classical subject of the ‘quixotic’ embedding my own experience within a genre of painting & drawing which belonged to a profoundly different period; Spain circa 17th – 19th century.  The ‘quixotic’ challenge became not simply to transcend time, but to transpose the signature of my own sensibility with that of the mythic Don himself. In this regard my ambition for final work was that it become uncannily out-moded, appearing as if the work might belong to the 18th century.

don q 6

'Who?' Oil on Linen

Although Goya’s representation of Don Quixote fails to represent the subject in a manner we might now recognise as classical, in fact Goya and the school of painters that the Prado Museum refers to as The Spanish School; El Greco, Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, more exactly The Flamenco School signifies the genre most suited to dealing with the subject. More detail on the gaphic work from this period can be found on the following page link; Don Quixote - The Graphic Work.

don q 9

'Every Bit as good as Lost' - Arthur Boyd Collection, Bundanon N.S.W.

My project began in Spain under the patronage of Delfina Entracalades with a series of pen and wash drawings. These drawings were extended back in London, under the patronage of Arthur Boyd, to an extensive series of paintings and drawings and a suite of etchings.  This work was exhibited in 1995 at Corbally Stourton Gallery, Cork Street, London.

don q 91

'Goyesca' - Private Collection London


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