Dean Home: The River Passes

27 September - 20 October 2018
Exhibition Text

Arthouse Gallery is excited to launch a new series of paintings by Dean Home accompanied by the first monograph of the artist’s life and work, Dean Home: An Artist's Journey.

Drawing from the traditions of Vanitas and Flemish still life painting, Home’s virtuosic compositions celebrate the metaphysical power of objects. Cinematic close-ups of antique Chinese vessels from the artist’s personal collection are paired with fecund fruit, calligraphy brushes, drapery and florals in an ongoing meditation on beauty, mortality and truth.


‘The River Passes’ continues Home’s deepening engagement with Chinese aesthetics, poetry and philosophy. Inspired by recent travels to China, where he was struck with the otherworldly beauty of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, Home meditates on the transformative power of nature – not in grand Romantic terms but as a quiet spark of personal enlightenment.


Home’s works are meta-paintings; multilayered reflections on the art of representation. In each composition, the flora painted on the porcelain materialises in the foliage on the table, creating a nexus between reality and rendition. Glazed on a bowl is a group of birds taking nectar from flowers, and yet it feels as though they could flutter from the ceramic surface and perch on the magnolias in the foreground. In a similar way, the calligraphy brushes spawn self-reflexive ruminations on the nature of painting. With our eyes we trace the bounty of texture brought to life with Home’s brush; cold porcelain surfaces, the leathery skin of fruit, soft bristles, fleshy petals and jagged stems, darting between the visceral and the optical.


Entering the worlds that Home creates is like stumbling into an enigmatic narrative bursting with sensuality and exoticism. The paintings carry with them a cultural currency that transcends time and speaks of a shared humanity.


Since graduating from Perth’s Curtin University in 1981, Home has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the country, and has been the finalist in numerous awards including the 2014 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize, the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (2013), the Mandorla Invitational Art Prize (1991, 2002, 2004, 2006) and the 2004 Fleurieu Penisula Art of Food and Wine Prize. His work is held in national collections such as National Portrait Gallery, National Australia Bank, Perth City Collection, Artbank, Murdoch University, Bunbury Regional and Albany City Collection, as well as corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas.

Installation Views