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                                           b. 1963, Murrurundi

                                           Lives and works in Melbourne

'Atkins does not intend to exaggerate the importance of an object, sign or symbol, instead he sets out to invest it with a new or altered meaning, in the process divesting (although never denying) it of its heritage. Like David Lynch’s cinematic vignettes of the small and banal, or Raymond Carvers vivid narrations of everyday feelings and occurrences. Atkins illuminates the extraordinary in the ordinary, quietly reassessing the familiar in order to endow it with the capacity for fresh understanding and renewed significance.’ 


- Felicity Fenner

Peter Atkins is a leading Australian contemporary artist and an important representative of Australian art in the International arena. Over the past twenty five years he has exhibited in Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Mexico. He has been described as 'a cultural nomad' by the former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Daniel Thomas, 'an obsessive psychological wanderer' by curator Simeon Kronenberg, 'a visual anthropologist' by the director of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia, Alex Baker, 'a visual terrorist' by Spanish Curator and arts writer Paco Barragan and 'a hyper-caffeinated bowerbird' by arts writer Ashley Crawford.

Atkins’ practice centers around the appropriation and re-interpretation of readymade abstract forms that he documents within the urban environment. This collected material becomes the direct reference source for his work, providing tangible evidence to the viewer of his relationship and experience within the landscape. Particular interest is paid to the cultural associations of forms that have the capacity to trigger within the viewer, memory, nostalgia or a shared history of past experiences. Recent projects including 'Disney Color Project', 'Hume Highway Project', ‘Station to Station’ and ‘Polaroid Project’ evoke within the viewer our collective, cultural recall. Over the past decade he has used the term 'readymade abstraction' to describe his practice. A term he coined to define the space between non-objective abstraction and representation. Peter states that ‘My work could be described as an amalgamation of Modernisms attention to process and materials, Pop Arts re-contextualization of mundane mass cultural objects, Minimalisms desire to achieve simplicity through the elimination of all non essential features and Post Modernisms re-examination, appropriation and deconstruction of all that has gone before. These amorphous boundaries are a calculated attempt to blur the distinction between High Art, Low Art and popular culture.’ 

His work is represented in the collections of every major Australian State Gallery including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney as well as prominent Institutional, Corporate and Private collections both Nationally and Internationally. In 2010 his solo exhibition for Tolarno Galleries at the Melbourne Art Fair titled Hume Highway Project was purchased in its entirety for The Lyon Collection in Melbourne.


IN STEREO                                                          2017


SILENCE                                                             2014


PAINTING AND DRAWING                                  2011


STUDIES                                                              2009


READYMADE ABSTRACTIONS                               2007


THE CONNECTED WORLD                                   2005




GAGPROJECTS is excited to present PETER ATKINS’ sixth solo exhibition in our gallery with IN STEREO. Peter Atkins is a prominent Australian artist who has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and internationally over the last thirty years.

‘Atkins describes his practice as ’readymade abstraction’. Appropriating designs drawn from sources as diverse as product packaging, highway road signage and mid-twentieth century jazz album covers, he pares back extraneous details – typically removing text and any representational imagery – and reduces it to an abstract composition in which line, form and colour exist in a finely calibrated visual harmony.’

- Kirsty Grant, 2015, ‘Chaos and Order’ SCAPE8, catalogue essay.

Peter Atkins is a graduate of the National Art School, Sydney (1985), he currently lives and works in Melbourne. Atkins has been included in several major exhibitions including: SCAPE8 Biennale, Christchurch (2015); Melbourne Now, NGV, Melbourne (2014); Contemporary Encounters, NGV (2010); and Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, NGV (2009).

His work is represented in the collections of every major Australian state gallery including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and various institutional, corporate and private collections both nationally and internationally.