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Peter Adsett at The Melbourne Art Fair

Adsett, Gisborne, 2013. IMG X Tom Teutenberg

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, in 1959, Peter Adsett has lived and worked in Australia since 1981, developing his painting practice.  He exhibits regularly in both countries, and has had shows overseas in New York and Boston. 

His academic credentials include an MFA from the Northern Territory University, and a PhD from Australian National University.  In 2001 he was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and enjoyed residencies in the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, and the McDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Adsett’s work is held in institutions and museums in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Adsett has devoted twenty years now to an investigation of abstraction, and like such iconic figures as Richard Serra and Robert Ryman, he proves the enterprise to be one of great, untapped potential.  One could even view Adsett’s art as a critique of abstract painting from the early 20th century to today, a task that became further complicated when he confronted the art of Indigenous Australians - what many believe is the most powerful painting produced today.

On 2000 he completed a series of large-scale acrylic paintings in collaboration with the Gija artist, Rusty Peters.  The resulting exhibition of fourteen works (seven each), titled Two Laws, One Big Spirit travelled around Australia and New Zealand.

In 2009, Adsett built a house/studio in southern Victoria that was the fruit of another collaboration, this time with a New Zealand architect, Sam Kebbell.  The innovative and much admired building (now housing Adsett and his family) is regarded as a “dialogue between painting and architecture.”  

This is the direction currently being explored in the works for the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair. Whilst he would maintain that his paintings always “take on the wall”, Adsett’s recent work engages with this proposition explicitly.  Furthermore, in 'Room with a View' the viewer will discover a degree of wit and humour, latent in much of his earlier work, but now coming to the fore with zest.


Mary Alice Lee


Peter Adsett is represented by Gisborne dealer Paul Nache.