‘Horizons’: Collection works
Queensland artist Joe Furlonger came to national prominence in the late 1980s with a series of large-scale figurative paintings inspired by the beach and the sea. His method was highly physical, applying swathes of colour with vigorous sweeps of the brush. For his large figurative ‘fishermen’ and ‘bather’ paintings, Furlonger immersed himself in the styles and techniques of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European artists Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, learning from their example and adapting those lessons to his own purpose.
Joe Furlonger / Australia b.1952 / ‘Circus Paris-Berlin suite’ 2006, installed for ‘Joe Furlonger: Horizons’, QAG Gallery 14, September 2022 / Boxed set of 11 woodcuts, ed. 2 of 15 / Purchased 2022 with funds from the Bequest of James F Bowler through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: QAGOMA / © Joe Furlonger / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA
What makes these figurative works unique is that, despite their monumental size, they carry a deep sensitivity: Furlonger has said that they evolved from his return to life drawing ‘to reinvest observation and realism into my painting’. Each figure powerfully inhabits its evocative beachscape, with the sea ever-present in the background.
In 1988, one of Furlonger’s three Bathers works of 1987 won the artist a prestigious Moët & Chandon Fellowship. As a Fellow, Furlonger, his wife and their infant son spent the following year based in the French township of Epernay, from where they travelled on to Italy, particularly Venice. This exposure to European art and culture profoundly affected the direction of Furlonger’s subsequent work, through which he has continued to find creative impetus in the figure and the landscape.
View of works installed for ‘Joe Furlonger: Horizons’, QAG Gallery 14, September 2022 (from left): 'Circus Paris-Berlin suite' 2006; Anzac Bridge 2001 (Synthetic polymer paint on canvas / Collection: University of Queensland Art Museum); Study for Bribie Island Passage I 2010 (Acrylic-bound pigment on linen / Courtesy: The artist); Study for Bribie Island Passage II 2010 (Acrylic-bound pigment on linen / Private collection); and (foreground, from left) Little Splits 2006 (Bronze / Courtesy: The artist) and Circus cheetah 2006 (Bronze / Private collection) / © All works Joe Furlonger / Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA
QAGOMA Collection works
The works below, included in ‘Horizons’, are from the QAGOMA Collection. A full list of loaned works is also available.