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Jon Molvig: The Tree of Man Paintings | Bruce Heiser & Louise Martin-Chew | Avid Reader

Sunday, 11 December 2022




Avid Reader Bookshop West End

Author Bruce Heiser is in-conversation with art writer Louise Martin-Chew discussing Jon Molvig: The Tree Of Man Paintings.

Two of Brisbane’s most experienced art researchers and writers discuss a new approach and insights into Jon Molvig’s final series of paintings. As Bruce and Louise talk about fine meanings and nuances in Molvig’s expressionist artworks, they will also cover lively aspects of Brisbane’s cultural history in the 1950s-60s.

In turn provocative, empathetic, taciturn, and vulnerable, Jon Molvig remains one of his generation's least understood artists.

Born in Newcastle, the artist settled in Brisbane in the mid-1950s where he was a key and influential presence and produced the most accomplished works of his career.

Particularly recognised for highly charged, energetic canvases influenced by European expressionism, later, in the final decade of his life, Molvig pursued sparser imagery, culminating in his final series of works — the Tree of Man (1967-1968).

Meticulously researched and richly illustrated, Jon Molvig: The Tree of Man Paintings examines the background and symbolism of this misunderstood bracket of works produced just prior to the artist’s premature death in mid-May 1970.

Bruce Heiser is a Brisbane-based art dealer, valuer, and researcher with a particular interest in the practice of Jon Molvig. Another of his interests, the early history of central Queensland, resulted in the book Tempting Dame Fortune: A Brief History of the Dee Gold Rush (2018).

Louise Martin-Chew received a PhD in 2019 from the University of Queensland (Creative Writing) for her biography of Badtjala artist, Fiona Foley Provocateur: An Art Life, published by QUT Art Museum. She was also editor of Women of Brisbane Judy Watson (2021), published by Museum of Brisbane. Louise is a freelance writer since 1992, and writes regularly for Art Collector, Art Monthly, Art Guide Australia, VAULT, Artist Profile and other publications. Prior to 1992, she was Managing Editor at Art & Australia journal, Australia’s longest published art journal.

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