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Robert Malherbe: 'Resist the Spirit of the Times'

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Robert Malherbe, Blackheath street landscape, 2014, oil on linen, 91 x 71 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

This May, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is proudly presenting an exhibition dedicated to award-winning artist Robert Malherbe.

Entitled 'Resist the Spirit of the Times', this exhibition will open to the public on Saturday 30th of April, 2016 and feature over thirty hand-picked artworks sourced from private and public collections, as well as Malherbe himself.

Robert Malherbe, Wetlands, 2015, oil on wood, 60 x 50 cm, Private Collection. Image courtesy the artist

Malherbe is an award-winning artist who lives in pursuit of art. A quiet presence in the Australian art scene for over a decade, Malherbe has a deeply instinctive approach to subject matter; be it the human figure, landscape or still life.

'Resist the Spirit of the Times' invites the viewer to discover the first 12 years of his fine art career, highlighting his achievements across expressive landscapes, still life and sensual figure studies.

This mid-career survey sees Malherbe transform the everyday into personal little dramas through his considered use of colour, luscious paint applications and sophisticated mark-makings.

Robert Malherbe, Govett's Leap, 2013, oil on linen, 91.5 x 122 cm, Finalist Wynne Prize 2013 (AGNSW) Private Collection. Image courtesy the artist.

Malherbe's acclaimed landscape works are frequently based on scenes from the small Blue Mountains town of Blackheath NSW, (where the artist lives) and its dramatic bush surrounds.

Highlights of the exhibition include Malherbe's finalist works from the 2013 & 2015 Wynne Prize for Landscape (AGNSW) and his winning figure painting from the 2015 Manning Art Prize (Nude and Naked). A selection of the artist's sketchbooks are also be on view.

Robert Malherbe, Still Life on Bookshelf, 2011, oil on linen, 61 x 50.8 cm, Private Collection. Image courtesy the artist.

Robert Malherbe (b. 1965) migrated to Australia from Mauritius in 1971 as a young boy. He worked as an animator before spending a decade travelling and living in Europe. A seasoned self-taught artist, Malherbe's first hand study of the European masters proved invaluable. Looking to predecessors like Corot, Constable and Manet, Malherbe aims to represent the essential truth of his subject, and to realise the inherent relationships between the subject, the artist and the viewer.

In 2011 Robert Malherbe was awarded the highly sought after Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) Residency at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. This additional study opportunity has been crucial for the development of Malherbe's practice, especially the lasting inspiration he derived from the works of the modern masters, particularly Matisse, Soutine and Auerbach. On his many excursions to the Louvre, the artist also fell under the spell of Jean Baptiste Chardin.

When not working plein air, Robert Malherbe divides his time between a home work-space in Blackheath and a large painting studio on William Street, Darlinghurst, in Sydney's CBD.

Malherbe has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Australia and Europe. He is a four times finalist in the Wynne Prize, AGNSW (2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015); a 2010 Archibald Prize finalist with his portrait of artist Luke Sciberras, AGNSW; a two-time finalist of the Mosman Art Prize (2014 & 2015) and is frequently selected for the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize, Tattersalls Landscape Prize & Salon des Refuses among other national prize exhibitions. Robert Malherbe won the 2015 'Naked and Nude', Manning Art Prize (acquisitive), Manning Regional Gallery, as judged by national art critic, John McDonald.

Robert Malherbe, Still Life with Ranunculus, 2014, oil on linen, 50 x 40 cm, Private Collection. Image courtesy the artist.

To complement this exhibition, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is presenting a Public Program. On Saturday 21st May 2016 from 11:00am to 12:00pm, visitors are invited to join artist Robert Malherbe for a lunchtime talk. It is free to attend this event with a Gallery ticket.

Robert Malherbe: 'Resist the Spirit of the Times' will continue to run till Sunday 5th of June, 2016. Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is open Weekdays: 10am – 5pm, Weekends: 10am – 4pm and Public Holidays: 10am – 2pm.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit

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When: 30 April - 5 June 2016
Where: Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 30 Parke Street Katoomba, NSW
Cost: $5 / $3 Concession / Under 16 Free
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