Metropolis is hosting an exhibition of selected paintings by
A.W. (Bill) Harding.
Bill Harding has selected thirty-five paintings for this exhibition which spans three decades.
Born in Melbourne in 1930, Bill Harding is a painter in the old-school sense. He was a student, friend and painting mate of William Frater who at times joined him to paint the coast and hinterland near Aireys Inlet with David Newbury and others.
Bill Harding’s intellectual concerns underlie a straightforward painting approach. Simple motifs and expressive, free brushwork reflect his desire to respond directly to his subject:
Once immersed in a room of his paintings a spectator can feel the calm, knowledge, care and sensuality of a finely tuned vision. He uses a disciplined palette, a uniform brush size and often the plainest of board supports. Bill renders his subjects and figures with a quietude that steadies then transcends a moment in time.
(Lesley Harding 1997)
Harding’s work indicates a mastery of tonality and his effortless, intimate placing of the figure in pictorial space reveals as much about the artist as it does about the subject. It is clear on viewing any of Bill’s works that he has a deep affection for the process of painting and for his subjects: the people, the flowers or a coastal view all speak to us from the artist’s viewpoint and the sensation that was felt.
Bill Harding was awarded the Geelong Gallery Acquisitive Prize in 1961 and ’62. He is also represented in the Bendigo, Castlemaine and Benalla Regional Galleries, and Deakin and Monash Universities. Other awards include Victorian Artists Society in 1962, ‘66, ’69 and ’74 (including Artist of the Year in 1992) and the Nada Hunter Portrait Award in 2009.
Text by Robert Avitabile, Metropolis Gallery. All images courtesy Metropolis Gallery.
The exhibition runs until 19 March at Metropolis Gallery, 64 Ryrie Street, Geelong. Opening hours are Mon-Fri 10:00am—5:30pm, Sat 10:00am—4:00pm.