The exhibition at Nexus Gallery Bellingen, opening on 18 February 2018, shows twenty four lithographs rich in grandeur and drama by renowned Australian artist Lloyd Rees, all printed by Master Lithographer Fred Genis over a period of nine years during the 80’s.
Artist Lloyd Rees (17 March 1895 – 2 December 1988) has a long established reputation as one of the great explorers and poets of the Australian landscape.
His works are preoccupied with depicting the effects of light and emphasis is placed on the harmony between man and nature. Rees painted right up until his death by which time he was in his nineties. He claimed that one of the benefits of his failing eyesight in his old age was that he could look directly at the sun.
Fred Genis had worked as a partner in the Hollanders Workshop in New York in the late 60’s to early 70’s. He worked with Robert Rauschenberg, Willem De Kooning, Sam Francis, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers and James Rosenquist to name a few. A collection of these artists’ lithographs, plus works from Europe, was held at the National Gallery of Victoria titled the ‘Artists and the Printer’ in 1982.
Fred Genis, lithographer from Holland, emigrated to Australia with his family and set up his complete two press workshop in Sydney in 1979. He started printing editions with John Olsen and Tim Storrier and continued to work with many more renowned Australian artists, including Brett Whitely and Lloyd Rees over a period of thirty years until his retirement.
Lithography requires a unique personal collaboration between artist and printer. Fred Genis describes his part in this highly technical process as being “like water – quiescent, fluid, unformed, but able at any instant to show, suggest, assist or even withhold”.
Lloyd Rees came to lithography late in his career, well into his eighties. The prints in this exhibition show an intimate collaboration between artist and printer. Lloyd very much enjoyed the medium and the relationship with Fred. These became one of his last projects before he died at the age ninety three.
Lloyd loved nature. The last edition of prints, with the support of Bob Brown, became a donation for the Wilderness Society, funding the Franklin River dam protest in Tasmania. The subjects are those that have involved Rees throughout his long career. They include beaches and landscapes of the south coast of NSW, Sydney Harbour, the country around Bathurst and the O’ Connell ranges and Mt Wellington in Tasmania. These and more general themes such as the massive eroded rock cliffs, monumental boulders and rocks and the swift mystical changes of light and atmosphere reflect the inner spirit of Rees’ drawings.
The limited edition lithographs will be for sale for a period of two weeks from 18 February till the 2 March 2018 at the Nexus Gallery, Bellingen, NSW.