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Vale John Nixon

Vale John NixonSince the 1970s John Nixon explored the legacy of non-objective art and geometric abstraction. Inspired by the twentieth-century constructivists as well as minimal and conceptual art of the 1960s and ‘70s, those affiliations never hindered Nixon’s eclectic, speculative approach, nor his spirit of playfulness. In 2014 John’s EPW: Colour-music series of polychromes featured in our exhibition Colour Music. Organised to function in multiple ways – as physical objects, as paintings, and as musical scores – these works underlined the freedom and mobility with which John associated his art. In 2017, John graciously gifted a selection of 75 works on paper to the ANU Art Collection. The gift included early woodblock prints, etchings, ink paintings, drawings, and collaged constructions dating from 1986 to 2015. John’s work was a great influence to many, however, his tutorship, mentorship, friendship, and can-do attitude were perhaps the greatest of inspiration to generations of younger artists.

1. Untitled (Dandelion Drawing), 2002. Pencil on paper. 29 x 21 cm. ANU Art Collection.
2. Orange monochrome for JN.
3. Untitled (cardboard construction), 2012. Silver aerosol paint on card, 25 x 17 cm. ANU Art Collection.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.