Fran Clark, director of Arc One Gallery, met Peter Daverington in 2007 after seeing an “extraordinary exhibition” of work by the artist on the subject of whirling dervishes. Since signing on, Daverington has had four “highly successful” solo exhibitions with Arc One, with his fifth scheduled for later this year. “The work for this exhibition is quite breathtaking,” states Clark, “and we are very excited about what audiences will experience.”
For Clark, Daverington is “a standout talent”. She states: “Peter Daverington is a very dynamic and creative person who is successfully working in both the visual and the performing arts. He is an impressive high achiever in both mediums. He is an original thinker who often works way ahead of others in his ideas and he looks beyond the current trends in an ever-fickle market place.”
Clark describes a broad collector base for Daverington’s work, including public galleries and institutions as well as private collectors, particularly those involved in the fields of architecture and art. His audience is broadened through other projects, such as his work for the Archibald Prize, for which he has been shortlisted for the second time, and his public art projects, including a major commission from the Chinese government to create a 50-metre- long street art mural in Shanghai.
“He has an utter dedication to building knowledge in his artistic practice,” states Clark, “and he stands out through his spectacular rendering of art history and his deep fascination with the evolution of painting. His work is wonderfully playful too. Daverington has an ability to dovetail spatial architectural elements with a sense of the sub- lime and the awe of great landscapes. He collapses one tradition into the other, delighting himself and us with the great classic styles. He is a highly knowledgeable painter who can pull from the Italian Renaissance right through to the painting styles of the German and northern romantics. He is also a consummate painter – I don’t think I know anyone who understands paint like Peter does.”
CURATOR, GIPPSLAND ART GALLERY
Simon Gregg, Curator at Gippsland Art Gallery, has looked on Peter Daverington’s career with enduring interest: “Peter Daverington is an enigma. Gifted with a unique talent of frightening proportions, his work draws on a multitude of periods and styles to form a blazing Baroque-punk fantasy. By plotting trajectories within his paintings that span centuries of art, he proposes a kind of cyber-romanticism unlike anything else in Australia. His works shun convention and mock tradition, and while they possibly shouldn’t work as cohesive artworks, they somehow do.”
Gregg has shown Daverington’s work on a number of occasions and also acquired the major work The New Colony, 2008, for the Gippsland Art Gallery. During the development of Gregg’s 2011 book New Romantics: Darkness and Light in Australian Art in which he wrote extensively about Daverington, Gregg found himself spellbound by the artist’s ability to contribute to the lineage of romantic art while also interpreting it through a highly contemporary perspective.
Gregg anticipates Daverington’s artistic future with interest: “In the decade that I have known Peter, he has risen from a cocky street artist to a figure of national importance, though whether the nation is quite ready for him is another matter. I can’t imagine how his work will evolve in the future, but it will likely become the future of art itself.”
This article was originally published in Art Collector issue 70, OCT – DEC 2014.