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Stephen Bush, Alabaster welcome, 2008, oil and enamel on canvas, 183 x 183 cm. Collection of Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart. © Courtesy the artist
Stephen Bush, Lauterbrunnental, 2004, oil and enamel on canvas, 107 x 183 cm. Private Collection, Melbourne. © Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
Stephen Bush, Type cast, 1998, oil on canvas, 198 x 233.5 cm. Private collection, Melbourne. © Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
Steenhuffel brings together works produced over a period of more than thirty years by the internationally recognised Australian painter Stephen Bush.
Like Bush’s painting practice, Steenhuffel is a playful and compelling exploration of the experience of the contemporary painter. The exhibition, which includes a series of new paintings, presents works that characteristically combine adroit figuration and visceral abstraction, and convey a sense of existential questioning, of friction, discipline, and the notion of the sublime. As intended, these works raise more questions than answers. The display of works with shared subject matter or treatment en masse—i.e. the log cabin, the beekeeper, the landscape, the predominant use of a particular colour—offers the audience the opportunity to reflect on the artist’s ongoing concerns, and observe nuance and development, as well as to appreciate the virtuosity within Bush’s oeuvre.
Stephen Bush: Steenhuffel is the fourth in a series of Vizard Foundation Contemporary Art Projects, a creative initiative of the Vizard Foundation which offers artists a substantial opportunity to produce new work. The projects are designed to encourage mid-career and senior artists to take risks and explore new directions in their practice.