Crossing The Rubicon

Solo Exhibition at Nanda Hobbs Contemporary

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by AdminIndustries on Friday 02 September 2016.

Sanguine (After Manus) image Constantinople I image Kansai image La Baie Des Anges image Proleteriat image Rubeus image Rubicon II image

Anthony White: Crossing The Rubicon Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary, Sydney 20 - 30 September 2016 Opening: Thursday 22 September, 6 – 8 pm Nanda Hobbs Contemporary is proud to present their inaugural solo exhibition of Paris-based Australian artist Anthony White, whose work is predominantly painterly abstract, physically large works that have a tangible quality of surface.

In his new body of work, Crossing the Rubicon, White continues to excavate ideas sourced from defining moments in history and their intersection with current global socio-political issues, to inform his contemporary image making practice.The exhibition explores collision points of the effects of modernism, war and globalisation.The title Crossing the Rubicon draws from an important moment in the history of Western civilization, when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river in Italy in 49AD and changed the genesis of modern Europe.

Metaphorically White draws from this epoch of history in relation to the current global refugee crises, reflecting impacts in the artist’s current home, Europe, and contrasting this with the quieter crisis in his native Australia with its off-shore detention centres on the Pacific islands of Manus and Nauru.

In the work Sanguine (Manus) the Australian policy of immigration is scrutinised. Its Pacific ‘solution’ to processing of refugees is proposed as a national tragedy and international embarrassment, and an inhumane series of ongoing incidents for Australia in an international context.
In the accompanying catalogue essay the London based writer Robert Maconachie discusses the work Constantinople I, “The protean nature of identity is also examined in White’s, Constantinople I, an ebullient network of thick chalk-white lines over a background of rich purples,
blues and golds. Fundamental to the histories of both Christianity and Islam, the city of Constantinople (current day Istanbul) embodies the idea of multiplicity; the shifting, multifarious nature of identity that underlies White’s interest in geographical and cultural boundaries. Located in Eurasia at the physical limit of Europe, where West meets
East, Constantinople represents the meeting place of two continents, two dominant ideologies and centuries of change. Constantinople I give us a sense of this constant state of flux, of building and rebuilding.”

In creating his new work, White has utilised non-traditional techniques such as throwing rags doused in paint to create patterning, blurring and diffusions, principally to build up transparent layers of paint. In doing so, the artist reflects on both conceptual and aesthetic ideas relating to identity and diaspora caused by war and the implications of Modernism. Combining references from historical postwar Japan and Ancient Rome the artist analyses periods of social unrest as a vehicle of breakthrough movements in civil as well as aesthetic history.

Aesthetically the imagery of the exhibition draws upon the Gutai movement of 1950s, namely the Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga. During this period Japan was in a state of rebuilding its national identity after WWII. By questioning the rise of the new cultural paradigm of the West, the Gutai artists created something uniquely Japanese.

For Anthony White (1976 Born Sydney Australia Lives and works in Paris) living in France amongst different cultures has naturally led to working across various artistic disciplines. By merging contemporary forms of urban landscape and his Australian heritage across disciplines
of drawing, painting, and collage the artist creates works often characterised by an awareness of surface and a preoccupation with the engagement of physicality and the found object. The artist was awarded the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship 2007 where he travelled to New York and worked at the New York Studio School and the Paris
Studio Award 2009 where he was artist in residence in Paris for three months at La Cite Internationale Des Arts.(2009)

Anthony White has exhibited widely over the past decade, recent exhibitions include Art Central Hong Kong with Metro gallery 2016 and final round finalist in the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy London, 2015. Recent gallery solo exhibitions have included As The Sleeper Wakes (2016) and Pentimento both at Metro gallery (2015)
a survey exhibition at Le Pave D’Orsay (2014) He has also been regularly curated into group exhibitions focussing on Australian Contemporary Painting in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Brisbane. The artist has been has been the recipient of the Marten Bequest for Painting 2007, the FONAS Paris Studio at La Cite
Internationale Des Arts 2009, a scholarship to the LIA Programme in Leipzig Germany.

Nanda\Hobbs Contemporary is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or by appointment, at Level 1, 66 King Street, Sydney.

For high res images or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Sophie Hobbs at or mobile 0407 409218
Nanda Hobbs Contemporary
AnthonyWhite Artist Site