Abstract and Figurative Paintings and Works on Paper ( 1989 )


1989 Works on Canvas    
abstract environmental art paintings
Resting Inside
abstract environmental art paintings
Torso
abstract environmental art paintings
Feminine Standing
abstract environmental art paintings
Passing Through
abstract environmental art paintings
Standing Within This
abstract environmental art paintings
Golden Bars
abstract environmental art paintings
Sitting Within This
abstract environmental art paintings
Silent Distraction
abstract environmental art paintings
Notations on This
abstract environmental art paintings
Standing Alone
abstract environmental art paintings
Torso with Ochre
abstract environmental art paintings
Venetian Nude
abstract environmental art paintings
Blue Eyes
abstract environmental art paintings
Breakfast Suite 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Breakfast Suite 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Breakfast Suite 3
abstract environmental art paintings
Breakfast Suite 4
abstract environmental art paintings
Breakfast Suite 5
abstract environmental art paintings
Harlequin
abstract environmental art paintings
Heartbeat
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 3
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 10
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 4
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 5
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 6
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest Series # 7
abstract environmental art paintings
In Memory
abstract environmental art paintings
Landscape 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Landscape 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Landscape 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Urn 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Urn 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Shades
abstract environmental art paintings
Portrait
abstract environmental art paintings
Paint and Space
abstract environmental art paintings
Open Wide
abstract environmental art paintings
Tryptych

Abstract and Figurative Works on Paper ( 1989 )


1989    
abstract environmental art paintings
A Day In The Life 1
abstract environmental art paintings
A Day In The Life 2
abstract environmental art paintings
A Day In The Life 3
abstract environmental art paintings
A Day In The Life 4
abstract environmental art paintings
A Day In The Life 5
abstract environmental art paintings
Bowl Of Fruit Middle View
abstract environmental art paintings
Bowl Of Fruit End View
abstract environmental art paintings
Bowl Of Fruit End View 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Head
abstract environmental art paintings
Boy with String
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Figures
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Figure 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Facial 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Facial 3
abstract environmental art paintings
Facial 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Figure 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Figure
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Figure With Mirror
abstract environmental art paintings
Leaning Figure 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Looking At You
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Head 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Flowers 3
abstract environmental art paintings
Flowers 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Flowers 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Leaning Figure
abstract environmental art paintings
Female Figure 1
abstract environmental art paintings
Male Head
abstract environmental art paintings
One & The Other
abstract environmental art paintings
Together
abstract environmental art paintings
In a Group
abstract environmental art paintings
Mirror Vision
abstract environmental art paintings
Two In Tents
abstract environmental art paintings
Made In India 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Male Head 2
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest 2 on Paper
abstract environmental art paintings
Rottnest 1 on Paper
abstract environmental art paintings
Made In India 4
abstract environmental art paintings
Standing Man
abstract environmental art paintings
Standing Presence
abstract environmental art paintings
Vanity
abstract environmental art paintings
Made In India 3
abstract environmental art paintings
Made In India 1

     
       

Description:
These paintings on canvas and Belgian linen, are semi-figurative/semi-abstract paintings of the environment, including elements of landscape and figures completed during the 1980's.

Artist statement about the works:
" I started out as a figurative painter because I felt attracted to that form of expression as I had a narrative story to tell in those days. There was a message I wanted to convey and over time, I found it best articulated through abstract and semi-abstract forms of expression. I only discovered this at a later time when I had immersed myself in abstraction.

During my early years as a painter, I had no concrete notion of what abstraction really was and only really gained valuable insights into the world of abstraction the more I worked with the materials (i.e.. paint and canvas) and the physicality of painting itself. It became apparent in the work that the abstract language of form became more important than the specifics of place or the rendering of the human form.
The change from figurative work to something more abstract resulted in a shedding of identity. It became literally an open field that I could explore. Instead of being confined by structured figurative elements.

I was assisted in discarding certain identities by other things taking place in my life, including a serious fire in my Melbourne studio in 1983. This fire totally destroyed my studio and seven years of work including paintings, drawings and prints. It was a devastating time for me, causing me to turn my attention inwards to a large extent. It was significant enough to cause me to take a sabbatical from art; the fire acting as a catalyst to reassess my life’s priorities.
After completion of a teachers training degree at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education and some extensive travel in the United States, I felt better prepared to return to my career as a professional practicing artist.

This ‘accident’ which had impacted both my personal and professional life had enabled me to mature overall as a person. Artistically, I became able to face truths about my work, changes that needed to be made, and now knew how to go about changing them.
The culmination of this maturing and the aforementioned revelation experience I had while looking for driftwood on a shoreline in Victoria directed me to the concern for environmental issues in my work and led to the discovery of medium that I used for over 10 years in my work – found objects. Later again this organically led on to my working again as a painter.

Does the change in artistic medium affect how I define myself as an artist? - Sandra Murray, in an essay (1991), said it more concisely than I could:
‘The successful artistic expression of an abstruse concept such as universality is difficult to achieve, but ultimately rewards both artist and viewer. It is what lies beyond the boundaries of abstraction and figuration that intrigues John Dahlsen and he has developed a unique visual language to articulate this. Dahlsen has only arrived at this crucial stage in his work after a course of exploration, both in a personal and artistic sense….’
Sandra Murray’s review particularly resonated with me. It is indeed, the intrigue and exploration and of course the medium I use at the time which helps define me and my work.

 

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