BOB MARCHANT

Born 1938

Bob Marchant was born to a farming family in Dimboola, in the Wimmera region of North Western Victoria. He left the Wimmera at fifteen and, after studying art at Melbourne’s RMIT, travelled to London where he spent the next twenty years as a successful designer and art director. He returned to Australia, and to painting, in 1981.

The Wimmera with its flat bleached landscape provides the setting for many of Marchant’s paintings but it is not so much the landscape as the resilient people of the Wimmera whose story he tells. The aunts knitting as they stand ankle deep in the dam to cool off, the rabbit shooters returning with their haul.

Writer and art historian Gavin Fry says of Marchant’s Wimmera series “each vignette is invested with a simplicity and grandeur which speak of lives lived by an extended family facing hard times together [he] renders his figures with sculptural massivity, pressing against the frame, too substantial to be contained by the painted rectangle”.

Australians at leisure – sharing the pleasures of communal entertainment – at the beach, the cricket, or an agricultural show are themes Marchant explores with his characteristic eye for acutely observed detail, creating stories that engage the viewer with consummate skill. His “Grand Parade at the Sydney Show” won the Sulman Prize in 1988. A year later he won the Sulman again with his “Catching Yabbies at Five Mile dam”.

Bob Marchant and his wife, the ceramicist Inger Marchant, live in Bundeena in the Royal National Park south of Sydney. His work features in many international and national collections from the Australian Embassy in Tokyo to Parliament House Canberra. His work is also represented in many private collections around the world.

SOLO EXHIBITONS
2012 The Drovers Boy, Hugh Sawrey Gallery, Longreach, QLD
2008 The First 70 Years, Australian Galleries, Sydney
2005 Maunsell Wicks Gallery, Sydney
2005 Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne
2004 The Drovers Boy Series, Hazlehurst Regional Gallery, Sydney
2004 Maunsell Wicks Gallery, Sydney
2002-03 Galerie Aalders, La Garde Freinet, France
2001 Australian Galleries, Sydney
1998-99 Australian Galleries, Sydney
1997 Michael Nagy Fine Art Gallery, Melbourne
1996 Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1995 Regional Galleries Travelling Exhibition
1995 The Drovers Boy Series, Sponsor Gallery
1995 Broken Hill City Gallery
1992-93 Moross Studio Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1992 Mulgara Gallery, Sheraton Hotel, Uluru
1992 Australian Naïve Gallery, Sydney
1992 Greenhill Gallery, Adelaide
1991 Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney
1991 Merrill Chase Galleries, Honolulu, USA
1991 Green Hill Gallery, Perth
1998-90 The Moore Park Gallery, Sydney
1985 Boronia House, Sydney

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITONS
2011 Works On Paper (finalist), Hazlehurst Regional Gallery, Sydney
2011 Sulman Prize (finalist), Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2011 The Outback Prize (finalist), Winton, Queensland
2011 The Cricket Prize (finalist), Sydney Cricket Ground
2009 The Cricket Prize (finalist), Sydney Cricket Ground
2008 Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Sydney
2007 Maunsell Wicks Gallery, Sydney
2005 Maunsell Wicks Gallery, Sydney
2004 Maunsell Wicks Gallery, Sydney
2000 Fine Paintings, Sculpture & Tapestry, Australian Galleries, Sydney
2000 Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1999 The Sulman Prize (finalist), Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1999 Fine Paintings, Sculpture & Tapestry, Australian Galleries, Sydney
1999 Christmas Show, Australian Galleries, Sydney
1998 Mosman Art Prize, Sydney
1998 Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1995 Naïve Art, Barry Stern Gallery, Sydney
1995 The Mary McKillop Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1994 Saints and Sacred Places, The Barry Stern Gallery, Sydney
1994 The Sulman Prize (finalist), Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1993 Broken Hill Outback Prize (finalist)
1992 Australian Naïve Gallery, Sydney
1991 Blake Prize (finalist), Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
1990 Amnesty Exhibition, Painters Gallery, Sydney
1990 Alice Prize (finalist), Alice Springs
1990 Blake Prize (finalist), Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
1990 The Max Fourney Museum of Naïve Art, Paris France
1990 Queensland House, London, England
1990 Australian Naïve Gallery, Sydney

PRIZES
1994 Banjo Patterson Art Prize, Winton, Queensland
1992 Mosman Art Prize, Sydney
1989 The Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1988 The Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

RESIDENCIES
1995 Art Trail, Broken Hill City Gallery
1992 Mulgara Gallery, Uluru

COLLECTIONS
Australian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Parliament House, Canberra
Broken Hill Regional Gallery, NSW
Horsham Regional Gallery, VIC
University of Darwin, NT

COMMISSIONS
2003 The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne
2002 Parsons Creek Vineyard, Milbrodale
2001 The Australian War Memorial, Canberra
2000 RTA Noise Wall Design, Princes Hwy Sutherland, Sydney
1990 The Australian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
2001 Wimmera Boy, Gavin Fry, Australian Galleries
2000 A Darn Good Yarn in Paint, Gabrielle Dalton, Artist Palette, Vol. 9
1999 Expanse – Different ways of seeing Australian Landscape, Sarah Thomas,
1999 Art & Australia, Volume 36
1999 Australia Day & The Long Weekend, Gavin Fry, Australian Galleries
1997 Painting the Wimmera, John Newtown, Crafts Arts International
1995 The Drovers Boy Series of Paintings, Marchant, Egan & Evans
1995 Mary McKillop: A Tribute, Honeysett Press
1994 Taking a naïve view of the world, Greig Weight, Australian Artist
1990 Bob Marchants True Colours, Erica Robinson, Country Style

Marchants work is represented in private collections in Australia, England, USA, Singapore, Denmark and France.