Rhett Brewer
Rhett Brewer - Represented by Artsite Gallery, Sydney
Rhett Brewer - Represented by Artsite Gallery, Sydney

Rhett Brewer is a local Sydney Artist who has been exhibiting professionally since 1981 and has over twenty five years experience as Lecturer in Painting and Drawing at The University of Western Sydney, as well as being on the Board of Directors of The Penrith Regional Gallery & Lewers Bequest (2004-05) and The Penrith Regional Gallery Exhibitions Committee.

With over 15 solo exhibitions and more than 30 major group exhibitions, Rhett has been exhibited twice in the AGNSW Sulman Prize and is recognised for his strength of detail and colour of the Australian Ocean Shore, bush and towns.

About his 2017 exhibition Rhett says, "Most of these works began with a walk and a camera. Sometimes my locations are planned but more often than not the things I notice and photograph are by chance, and the light is at least as important as the subject itself.
Light has a transformative quality that can make the ordinary look extraordinary and for me, this happens at the end of the day, when shadows are long and the things I see are illuminated with a drenching low golden light. That’s the time when day is turning into night and everything is about to change. A similar, but opposite transition happens at dawn, and those transitional times have been favoured by landscape painters with a Romantic disposition since the Seventeenth Century when painters began to take landscape seriously as a subject for painting.

I’m a painter, not a photographer. My photographs serve their purpose and end up bundled into piles in my studio, covered in paint, masking tape and footprints. I also make a lot of Plein Air paintings and I have exhibited them in this gallery. For me, both direct observational painting and studio painting are complimentary activities that differ but are essential to my practice.

I was trained in an art school that was typical of the 1970’s. My teachers were essentially Abstract Expressionists and paintings were often made by rolling canvas out on the floor and applying paint with house painting brushes, mops and sticks. Drips, splashes and “the mark” were the currency of the day and some of that freedom remains in my practice to this day but I wanted to find a use for these techniques and I saw it in nature.

When I begin a painting I use the viscosity of water in acrylic paint to drip and splash onto a canvas to approximate the chaos of nature- the cellular, atomic and sub-atomic complexity of what lays underneath what we think we see. This gestural, paint flinging stage is controlled but only loosely. The water holds the pigment and gravity carries it, as rain, surf, heat and wind shape our landscape. We see similar marks in the sand when the tide recedes, or from an aeroplane when we look down at the landscape.

When I switch to oil, I paint what is apparent when we are in the landscape, but I leave traces of what lies underneath- the chaos that lies beneath the apparent order. It provides complexity, colour, and often determines the marks I make with my oil paint.

The landscape I paint is in a state of flux; it’s complex and forever changing. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclites is supposed to have said- You can’t step into the same river twice. This is my subject and it determines the way I paint." Rhett Brewer 2017


Collections: Art Bank; Brian Nylan Geometric Art Collection; Transfield Collection; NSW State Parliament House Collection

Private Collections: Australia, USA, UK, and Internationally

Solo Exhibitions:
2017   Last light, Artsite Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2015   Rhett Brewer, Artsite Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2014   Rhett Brewer Recent Paintings, Depot Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2010   Myth and Memory, Depot Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2008   Re-enchantment: Rhett Brewer’s Newcastle, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
2007   Sydney Light, Wallspace Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1999   Creation Myths, Michael Nagy, Sydney, NSW
1996   Paint, Maling Gallery & Turbine Gallery, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, NSW
Paint, Michael Nagy, Sydney, NSW
1993   Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney, NSW
1989   D.C. Art, Sydney, NSW .
1988   Breewood Gallery, Katoomba, NSW
1984   Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1981   Zanders Bond Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney, NSW

Group Exhibitions: (Recent Selected)
2016   Amplitude, Artsite Gallery Sydney, NSW
   The Energy of Water, Artsite Gallery Sydney, NSW
2015   Collector's Choice 2015, Artsite Gallery Sydney, NSW
2014   Collector's Choice 2014, Artsite Gallery Sydney, NSW
Shiny 2 - Pop up Space @ North Sydney, NSW
2013   Suburban Noir, Theme Gallery, Museum of Sydney, NSW
2012   Seeing the Same Landscape through Different eyes, Milton House Gallery, McKay, Qld
Painting the Everglades, Rhett Brewer & Leo Robba, Everglades, Leura, NSW
2011   The Golden Age, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor, NSW
2008   The Coloured Digger, Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Postcards, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
2006   Cars and Houses, Wallspace Gallery, Sydney, NSW
M4 Group Exhibition, UWS Gallery, University of Western Sydney, NSW
2005   David Rex-Livingston, Sydney, NSW
2004   Three Colours White, Brenda May Gallery Sydney, NSW
2003   The Landscape Show, Lewers Bequest & Penrith Regional Gallery, NSW
2001   Intersections of Art and Science, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW Sydney, NSW
2000   Artist in Residence, Studio Exhibition, Bundanon, NSW
1998   I.S.I.S Symmetry, 4th Conference and Exhibition, Hiafa, Israel
Australian Contemporary Art Fair 8 (Michael Nagy Gallery), Melbourne, VIC
Science in the Arts, Arts in the Sciences, Academy of Fine Art, Budapest
M.A. and beyond, Casula Powerhouse, NSW
Bryan Nylan Collection Exhibition, Penrith Regional Gallery, NSW
1997   Sweet Foray, Katoomba, NSW
1995   Beyond the Perimeter, Sydney Festival, NSW
1994   Michael Nagy Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1993   No Angels, No Trumpets, Space YZ, University of Western Sydney, Nepean, NSW
1992   Australsky Vzorek, The Academy of Applied Arts and Design, Prague, Czechoslovakia
1990   Australian Contemporary Art Fair 2, Melbourne, VIC
1989   Pier 4, Walsh Bay, Sydney, NSW
1988   Finalist Exhibition, The Sulman Award, Art Gallery of N.S.W.
1987   Regional Accent, The Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, NSW
1985   Finalist Exhibition, The Sulman Award, Art Gallery of N.S.W
4 Ways, Brisbane College of Advanced Education, OLD
1982   Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, with David Hull and Graham Marchant
Woollarah Art Gallery, NSW
1979-81   Sydney City Heritage, Sydney, NSW
1979   Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW

2013/2014   Artist in Residence, Kelton Artist Residency, Cooma, NSW.
2012   Artist Plein Air Painting tour, Flinder’s Ranges, S.A.
2011   Artist Plein Air Painting tour, Flinder’s Ranges, S.A.
2007   Artist in Residence, The Lock-up, Newcastle, NSW.
2000   Artist in Residence, Bundanon Trust, Bundanon, NSW.

Academic Qualifications:
   Master of Art (Hons) Fine Arts, University of Western Sydney, NSW
B.A. Visual Art, City Art Institute (COFA), Sydney, NSW
Dip Art, Alexander Mackie CAE, Sydney

2014   Brewing up old wrecks on Canvas, Elizabeth Fortesque, Daily Telegraph, 17th July
2013   Dark Deeds among the fibros , Linda Morris, SMH, 27th November
2012   Green Thumbs, Jill Fortescue, Daily Telegraph, September
2011   Cold War, Hot Dogs, with text by Peter Doyle
2008   Autobiography in Abstract, Jill Stowell, Newcastle Herald, July
2004   The Landscape Show (with photograph) Lenny Ann Low, 31 January
Art Almanac Profile (with photograph), December/January 2003/04
2003   Time Out (with photograph) Cumberland Newspaper Group, December,
Recalling Landscapes, Must See (with photograph) Sunday Telegraph, December 28
Spotlight- Chrisanthi Giotis (with photograph) Sydney Morning Herald, December 12
2001   Witty blend of art and science, Courtney Kidd, Sydney Morning Herald, June 13,
Symmetry and its Dissimilarities, Anna Munster. Catalogue, Ivan Dougherty Gallery UNSW, 7 June
1999   Ars (Dis) Symmetrica 99 Catalogue & profile ISIS,
Symmetry & Institute for Research Organisation, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
1996   Making Eyes at Past Beauties (3 photos), Marie Geisser in Business Review Weekly, September
1992   Austral vzorek, Lenka Lindaurova, La Strana, Prague, October 21
1989   Lurid Lampoons, Elwin Lynne The Australian, July 22-23
1985   The Courier Mail, Brisbane , Sept
1981   In search of Vitality (with photograph), Nancy Borlase, Sydney Morning Herald, January 17
Sandra McGrath (with photograph) The Australian, March
A Calabrian in Paddo Maintains the Rage (photograph) Nancy Borlase, Sydney Morning Herald, March
Threat to a gallery, Ronald Miller, (with photograph) The Melbourne Age, Sept 17

Art Bank, Australia
Brian Nylan Geometric Art Collection, Australia
Transfield Collection, Australia
NSW State Parliament House Collection, Australia

Private Collections:
Australia, USA, UK, and Internationally

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