CLAIRMONT, Philip;

Large Window Painting

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1982
Oil and acrylic on canvas
1900 x 1820mm

Clairmont abjured landscape entirely finding subject matter in the rooms he occupied and frequently including his own image as part of the clutter. In many such works Clairmont represents himself as the obsessive artist apart from society, dishevelled, distracted, angst-ridden. Here he presents his own face as a small skull-like image within a circle as part of a jug filled with paintbrushes itself a part of a chaos-filled room caught in a spiritual earthquake. The artist held his first one-person show in Christchurch in 1969 thereafter exhibiting with the Christchurch Group.

In 1973, married with a daughter, he moved to Wellington where he worked as a postman, painting whenever he could. It was not until 1977 when he moved to Auckland that he was able to work full-time as a painter. From that time he increasingly came to view himself as a visionary, consciously cultivating a bohemian persona. In 1983 an Arts Council Travel Grant enabled him to visit the USA. He died by his own hand at Auckland in 1984.

Exhibition History

The 80s Show: Paintings from the Fletcher Trust Collection, Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, 1 July to 27 August 2017 (toured)

The Fletcher Trust Collection is one of the largest curated private collections of Aotearoa New Zealand art. The Trust makes works available to the public online as well as via exhibitions initiated by public art institutions and by the Trust itself.

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