Geoff Lowe: Plate
According to the Australian and New Zealand Art Sales Digest website, Geoff Lowe was born in Melbourne in 1952. He studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technoogy and become a painter and teacher. His work was influenced by the culture of the 1970s and surrealist art, particularly Dusan Marek. This was a time of consolidation and growth in the arts, most often defined as a response to the dominant tensions of the preceding decade. Conceptual art developed as a influential movement, a partial evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the artwork into the sprawling outdoors , taking creative production away from commodities and looking to engage with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined the elements of conceptualism with other formal considerations, crating cryptic and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain importance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years prior, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly powerful figures worldwide. Many of the artists who became so famous and successful in the 1960s remained dominant figures. For example, Andy Warhol branched out into film and magazine publishing, the first type of pan cultural activity for a visual artist. This secured his reputation as a globally renowned celebrity in his own right. Towards the end of the 1970s, the emerging practices of graffiti and street art were beginning to gain attention in the fine art community. Artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were working in downtown Manhattan and ensuring that spray paint and tagging gained some legitimacy as a fine art practice, a trend which would fully develop and dominate throughout the following decade.
He has exhibited his work in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland since 1975 and has won a number of art prizes including the Elaine Target Drawing Prize, the VACB grant, MPAC Sprint Festival of Drawing.
The Work of Art
'Plate' depicts a bronze dish on a grey background surrounded by images of tribal warriors. The images of the figures are like photographic negatives. The work is a photographic screenprint created in 1988 using multiple stencils, it was included in the Land Portfolio to mark the bicentennial anniversary of European arrival to Australia. The work may be seen as commentary on the loss of indigenous people globally. A similar work held in the National Gallery of Australia titled, 'Plates', shows a similar image but rather than negatives surrounding the central plate, there is a smaller plate with native designs on it. Again, this could be commentary on the relationship between western and indigenous cultures.