The NGV is honoured to be presenting a major retrospective exhibition of works by Robert Hunter (1947–2014), arguably Australia’s pre-eminent minimalist painter. The exhibition is planned to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Hunter’s first solo exhibition at Tolarno Galleries in 1968, and that same year his involvement as the youngest artist represented in The Field, the inaugural and now legendary exhibition at the new NGV, which announced the arrival of international style, late-modernist abstraction in the Australian context.
This exhibition will survey the work of an artist who maintained an unswerving commitment to a singular aesthetic position. The severe simplicity and apparent whiteness of his works yield, upon close inspection, to complex geometries and finely nuanced fields of colour, drawing the viewer into a deep contemplation of perception and the painterly process.
Hunter is one of very few Australian artists to participate at the centre of an international art movement, exhibiting in Eight Contemporary Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1974, and presenting solo exhibitions at Galerie Konrad Fisher in Düsseldorf in 1974, and Lisson Gallery in London in 1975. Hunter continued to be involved in significant exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including the survey exhibition Minimal Art at the NGV in 1976, the 11th Biennale of Paris in 1980 and a series of two-person exhibitions with Carl Andre in Australia in 1978 in Melbourne, Newcastle and Brisbane.