Angus Nivison – Case Bound Book

Three prominent Australian galleries will be holding a retrospective exhibition of the work of Angus Nivison, an artist who has created a beautiful and solid body of work over a career which has spanned many years. Angus Nivison has previously been awarded the Wynne Prize in 2002 for the huge 6.5 metre panorama Remembering Rain 2002. He completed a three month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2011. We designed this book called Angus Nivison: A survey to commemorate and catalogue the exhibition.

The book is bound in a cool grey cloth, with the the words ‘Angus Nivison – A survey’ stamped in black foil on the front and spine. The black foil on the cloth bound cover gives the publication a reserved elegance. The crisp sparseness of the books exterior opens up to warm soft pink inside, laying the stage for Angus Nivisons gorgeous abstract landscapes.

Nivison’s work is inspired by his close relationship with the environment, which makes sense, as he and his family live on a farm in the New England region0 of New South Wales. As a painter he tries to work beyond a simple representation of the land, and unearths the feelings within it. If this sounds silly, you should definitely have a look at some of his work. There’s something about searching the painting for what he is trying to represent, that helps you feel what it means. Summer Rain is a particularly beautiful work that makes us think of the cool calm the rain can bring on during a sweaty summer day.

The catalogue also contains some interesting writing on Nivison’s work, including an interview with Nivison, conducted by Barry Pearce, Emeritus Curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of NSW. Nivison says of happiness in the interview; “I think happiness is totally overrated in our society. This endless pursuit of happiness is dangerous, and I think a huge waste of time. Melancholy definitely has a place… You can’t be a complete person unless you know happiness and unless you know sorrow.” A tempered something of the tortured artist stereotype in that statement, but his work is indeed strengthened by the clearly felt and present emotion.

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by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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