Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Alan Oldfield (1943-2004) - Australian Painter

I knew Alan Oldfield when he was working in a somewhat David Hockney mode:

Interior with Banana Chair, 1973

I met Alan through Peter Z, the brother of my partner of the time. Peter was living with Alan and his partner James Davenport, a nuclear scientist involved with the development of nuclear technology in Australia. Alan and James lived a certain art-oriented middle-class gay Paddington life-style, which was very typical of the period - fast, smart, sexy. Focusing on the dinner party ... with a dolop of religion.

The slim, white, three-story terrace house had the ubiquitous pool, surrounded by a terracotta-tiled apron, dotted with chairs.

Very David Hockney.

Alan had graduated from the National Art School in 1966. And added teaching to practice from the 1970's on, becoming a lecturer both at the Alexander Mackie College and the NSW University College of Fine Arts. With art being a parallel venture.

Lizard Island and Points North

Occasionally I come across his work at auctions And realize I'd forgotten it at times had religious themes:

And considered buying such a work - wish I had as it was not expensive.

I lost contact with Alan when I separated from my partner, and moved to live in Europe. But regret not having known him more. I loved his sharp intellect and wit, accompanied often by great story telling skills - which at times drifted into serious gossip in an inimitably gay mode.

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