Discipline: Visual Art – painting

Peter Adsett

Discipline: Visual Art – painting
Region: Melbourne, Vic., AUSTRALIA
MacDowell fellowships: 2004

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, in 1959, Peter Adsett has lived and worked in Australia since 1981, developing his painting practice. He exhibits regularly in both countries, and has had shows overseas in New York and Boston.

His academic credentials include an M.F.A. from the Northern Territory University, and a Ph.D. from Australian National University. In 2001 he was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and enjoyed residencies in the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, and The McDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Adsett’s work is held in institutions and museums in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Adsett has devoted 20 years now to an investigation of abstraction, and like such iconic figures as Richard Serra and Robert Ryman, he proves the enterprise to be one of great, untapped potential. One could even view Adsett’s art as a critique of abstract painting from the early 20th century to today, a task that became further complicated when he confronted the art of Indigenous Australians -- what many believe is the most powerful painting produced today.

In 2000 he completed a series of large-scale acrylic paintings in collaboration with the Gija artist, Rusty Peters. The resulting exhibition of 14 works (seven each) titled "Two Laws, One Big Spirit" travelled around Australia and New Zealand.

In 2009, Adsett built a house/studio in southern Victoria that was the fruit of another collaboration, this time with a New Zealand architect, Sam Kebbell. The innovative and much admired building (now housing Adsett and his family) is regarded as a “dialogue between painting and architecture.”

Peter Adsett photo by Tom Teutenberg



Peter Adsett worked in the Firth studio.

Originally a working barn perched atop the namesake hill of Hillcrest Farm, this building was converted to serve the arts in 1956. A grand set of windows was installed to make the large interior suitable for visual artists, bringing in abundant natural light from the north. The addition of a screened porch and accessible entrance ramp…

Learn more