Untitled #535, 1997 signed, dated and inscribed '535 / Hearman 96' verso oil on masonite 92 x 69cm (36 1/4 x 27 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: Purchased from Robert Lindsay Gallery in Melbourne, July 1997
EXHIBITED: Laverty 2, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle, 14 May - 14 August 2011
One can almost hear the thunder as the clouds amass ponderously before the storm. Louise Hearman has long been the master of the ominous, a maestro of beautiful threat and dark romance. Hearman was always going to be an artist to watch. Born in 1963, she studied for a bachelor of fine arts at the Victorian College of the Arts where her reputation as a fresh new talent, a potential heir to Peter Booth's dark throne, was quickly established. Her first solo exhibition in 1987 quickly confirmed the word on the street The Elephant Room, the dome project at Melbourne's Mission Seamen Building was a dark and brooding affair, revealing a painter of dark chiascuro and nightmarish vision.That was soon followed by solo exhibitions at Anna Schwartz's City Gallery, the Robert Lindsay Gallery, Mori Galleries, Roslyn Oxley9, Tolarno Galleries and elsewhere, cementing a career that has been remarkably consistent. That was proven in 2008 with the lavish survey show, Hello Darkness: The Art of Louise Hearman, at the Glen Eira City Council Gallery.Indeed, clearly Hearman has the capacity to leap from highly detailed realism to darkly rendered abstraction. Her most recent works hint at an homage to Goya landscapes and looming figures that could have been painted in the 17th century.