Born in Gisborne, now based in Melbourne, Peter Adsett has exhibited widely throughout Australia, Japan, the US and New Zealand. His large canvases challenge our preconceptions of art as illusionist storytelling in favour of an exploration of painting, process and the very architecture of paint on canvas. Adsett uses light and dark that are never completely light or completely dark. He uses forms that swing out or back in to the painting in subtle subversion of our expectations of order and two-dimensionality.
The sheer physicality of the paintings – Adsett builds his work with about 80 layers of paint – boycotts our expectations of narrative, of formal composition, even of verticality, as the standard dichotomies of light and dark, foreground and background, within the frame and outside the frame, is deliberately foiled. The resulting works are compelling, unsettling and strangely beautiful.
“Adsett’s paint refuses to remain inert, straining against its framing edges, expanding in every direction into the supporting wall, even as it co-opts the white as an integral element in this ‘interior’” – Mary Alice Lee, 2018