Guy Peppin has become known for his multi-layered and multi-coloured paintings, which involve the deconstruction and fragmentation of the picture-plane and surface through sgraffito and collage techniques.
Peppin’s practice deals with the theme of the Palimpsest; the canvas acts as a layered manuscript of obfuscations, excisions and submerged white washes.
Peppin states, “I see my work as an invitation to a conversation; a dialogue through colours and line, juxtapositions that are regular and irregular, and contain harmony and disharmony, unity and separation, but also ambiguity and uncertainty as to what they are and what they mean.”
After a hugely successful solo exhibition, Return to Sender (2009) at Liverpool Street Gallery, Peppin was awarded The Storrier Onslow Cité Internationale des Arts Paris studio residency, allowing him the opportunity to travel, paint and draw in Europe for four months in early 2010. Once he had returned to Sydney, Peppin began to make a series of fresh, dynamic and engaging mixed media canvases and works on paper in response to his time overseas, hence the exhibition’s title – Voyager. These new works incorporating painting, drawing and collage featured in his exhibition.
For Peppin the canvas is a place of impulse and distillation, in which to explore deep emotions through text, colour and form. To begin his artistic process, Peppin applies thin, yet gestural layers of oil paint over an un-stretched canvas. Peppin lifts the edges of the canvas, allowing the paint to run and drip freely in various directions. While the oil paint is still wet, he coats the canvas in a watery gesso, sometimes drawing into the surface with a pencil to reveal the layers of colour or bare canvas underneath. Finally, Peppin delves further into his works by reconfiguring and abstracting his paintings into experimental collages of torn strips of canvas, thus rendering any text or written phrases illegible.
The spirit of the early gestural and fluid marks becomes fragmented and highly composed within the now formal field of the horizontality of the plane, creating moments of visual tension and surprise. This tactile yet highly considered process of creation, erasure and fragmentation in the work emphasises the physicality of the medium.
The exhibition will be on view from 29 January – 24 February, 2011 and will open on Thursday 3 February, 6pm.
About Guy Peppin
Guy Peppin was born on the Northern Beaches of Sydney in 1980.
After completing high school Guy worked as a graphic designer and collaborated with the Molotov Guerrilla Art Collective. Travelling to Italy and seeing the work of artists like Cy Twombly inspired Guy to go back to university and he enrolled at the National Art School, Sydney.
On completing his undergraduate study of drawing, printmaking and history Guy was invited to do Honours Drawing. During his Honours year Guy’s work shifted into abstraction, dispensing with pictorial modes of representation. His work now deals with ideas of diffusion, erasure and memory.
Peppin was a finalist in the RBS Emerging Artist Award in 2009 and again in 2010.
He recently received the Storrier Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Residency courtesy of the Friends of the National Art School.
“My work has become a compression of form, edge, weight and colour. The verging strips of canvas have become more physical and more hones; geometry and colour have become more intense, with torn nervous edges. I started by making assemblages of different paintings torn into strips, these were reshuffled and reassembled and it was a breakthrough. The planarity of these stripes creates a moments of visual tension, where the conflict of the lyrical mark on a linear field is read as a liminal threshold at the point that we perceive this fragmented work.
The challenge in conceiving of these new works was for them to be classical without being classicist and timeless without being aloof. My work now concentrates on making without being ritualistic and connecting to materials without fetishising them. Within this process randomness, arbitrary relationships and automatism are at work.[slideshow id=689]
Having come from a background that is embracing of technology, I see making art in this manner as a personal antidote to the increasingly depersonalising nature of contemporary society. I love technology, but the flatter and more seductive the digital screen, the more I want to make human, natural surfaces; I want to make art that is infused with joy, delicacy, texture, vigour and power.”
Peppin deals with the play of a traditional and rational grid structure against imaginative colour and unskilled craft, the classical dialectic in the history of thought. Using a grid he is developing a practice of studying the constant effects of permanence eroded by change, time and decay.
Peppin’s work expresses deep emotions through simple forms or colour ‘poems’ that take us beyond everyday life. He sees his work as an invitation to a conversation; a dialogue through colours and line, juxtapositions that are regular and irregular, contain harmony and disharmony, unity and separation, community and isolation, spiritual energy and sensuality, but also ambiguity and uncertainty as to what they are and what they mean. The work is beautiful, not relatively, but naturally and absolutely.
Peppin’s works are represented in private collections in Australasia and the United States of America.
He lives and works in Sydney
2009 Exhibition pieces ” Return to Sender”
2008 Bachelor of Fine Art Honours (Drawing), National Art School, Sydney, Australia
2007-2005 Bachelor of Fine Art, National Art School, Sydney, Australia
2001-1999 Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, SIT Design Centre Enmore, Sydney
2010 Voyager, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2010 RBS Emerging Artist Award and Exhibition, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sydney
2009 Return to Sender, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2009 RBS Emerging Artist Award and Exhibition, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sydney
2009 Drawcard 2009, NAS Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2009 Summer Exhibition, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2008 Virtually Obsessed, Guy Peppin and Emily Fitzgerald
2008 NAS Library Stairwell Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2008 NAS Honours Show 08, NAS Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2008 Heroin’e, East Sydney Doctors
2008 Let the Blood Run Free, East Sydney Doctors
2008 Drawcard 2008, NAS Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2008 Pyrmont Art Prize, Tap Gallery, Sydney
2007 NAS Degree Show 07, NAS Gallery, National Art School, Sydney
2007 NAS Studio Show 07, National Art School, Sydney
2007 Studio Show, Sydney
2007 International Show, Xanadu Gallery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2007 The Capitals Project, Han Jun Arts Center, Hong-ik University, Seoul, South Korea
2006 Group Showing, Speakeasy Artist Space, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
2003 DIGIT International Poster Competition, Sydney
2003 ICOGRADA Galleria, ICOGRADA Montréal, Québec, Canada
2001 SIT Design Centre, Graduate Show, SIT Ultimo
1998 Molotov Guerrilla Art Collective, Unsolicited venues in London and Sydney
Prizes and Awards
2009 FONAS Storrier Onslow Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris Residency
Arts & Events, ‘New Weave: Loose threads and kindred art,’ Vogue Living, July/August 2009, p.98
Woodard, Amanda, ‘New Blood’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 48, 2009
Jinman, Richard, ‘Exhibition a shot in the arm for clinic’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 2008
Dyer, Katie Honours Show 08, National Art School, Sydney 2008
Dyer, Katie, Degree Show 07, National Art School, Sydney 2007
Aitch Art Brutes, Anarchists dismantle the art museum
Private collections in Australia, the United States of America and Europe