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Indepth Arts News:

1999-12-10 until 2000-01-23
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Gold Coast, , AU Australia

Gold Coast City Art Gallery is proud to present Joe Furlonger: Survey an exhibition of work by nationally renowned Gold Coast based artist, Joe Furlonger, opening on Friday, 10 December. The exhibition  represents a survey of the artist's work since 1982 and will include over eighty paintings, drawings, prints, and ceramics. The exhibition has been selected by Gold Coast City Art Gallery Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, Tracy Cooper, and will travel to six Queensland and New South Wales venues throughout 2000 and 2001.

Furlonger is known mainly for his monumental fisherman paintings from the early to mid-1980s. Works from this period are included in the exhibition along with other highlights such as works produced while Furlonger was resident in France as the second Moet & Chandon Fellow through to more recent landscapes produced on field trips to central and north Queensland, and Western Australia.

In addition to living and working in France and Britain, he has painted extensively in New Guinea and Vietnam and exhibited in France and Japan. His paintings have been selected for numerous Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes and this survey exhibition includes several of those works.

His work has celebrated some very specific Aussie icons:  the surfer and the fisherman and identified the role of the ocean in the Australian psyche. Born in Cairns in 1952, Furlonger went to sea at age 17 working as a deckhand on fishing trawlers.

It was here, that Furlonger's affinity with the ocean began: I love the sea. It is really my subject matter. But it is a mixture of beauty and terror. Queensland waters are too rough. Boats are always capsizing. Everything is double-edged. The most beautiful fish are poisonous, said Furlonger in 1987.

As a resident of the Gold Coast, the ocean still looms large as a favourite subject for his vast, colourful, figurative work. The monumental size of many works from this period, became a notable characteristic of Furlonger's work throughout the 1980s and early 90s, and his work is at times reminiscent of Picasso, Matisse, Fairweather, and Beckman. Furlonger is recognised as one of Australia's most prolific contemporary artists, competent over a range of mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. The exhibition documents the artist's work over a specific period, and celebrates the importance of the artistic process.

Joe Furlonger: Survey  exhibition is accompanied by a full colour catalogue with an essay by Australian author, playwright, and art collector, Louis Nowra. A limited edition of  50 hardcover books that include an original woodblock print by the artist will be available for $295.00. For details about the publication please contact Gold Coast City Art Gallery.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Mr Louis Nowra on Friday the 10th of December from 6.30pm. The touring exhibition and the publication has been supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation, and the Regional Galleries Association of Queensland. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to Grafton Regional Gallery, Moree Plains Gallery, Bundaberg Arts Centre Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, and New England Regional Art Museum through 2000/2001.

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