Anthony White’s artistic work revolves around reclaiming the act of dissent through the production of cultural objects. His research is situated at the intersection of several fields in the social space including, politics, human rights, and postcolonialism. His practice is centered around design concepts and their history as a form of social and political expression. He works with painting, drawing, collage, and printmaking. Through this practice, he tackles relevant questions to our time, to encourage emancipation and new ways of thinking.
Anthony White’s artwork has been exhibited in Australia, Europe, and Asia. He has received recognition and support through international cultural agencies such as The Trust Company Australia, The National Association for the Visual Arts,(NAVA),The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) and the ADAGP France. He has also received critical acclaim by recognition in the form of art prizes and reviews most notably The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (2007) The Creative Art Fellowship at The National Library of Australia (2020) and acknowledgements in the press notably The Australia Financial Review, Art Collector Magazine Australia and also Elle Décor (US edition).
In 2020 White was the recipient of The Creative Arts Fellowship at the National Library of Australia. The fellowship to research the library’s archive material related to the archive of Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) which informed a new body of work examining sovereign power, dissent, and the efficacity of civil disobedience.This was exhibited recently this year at Lennox St Gallery,Melbourne Manifestation (2023)
During his career White has been the recipient of The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship to the United States (2007), The Artist Archive and Documentation Grant by the french cultural organization ADAGP (2023), The Vermont Studio Centre Residency U.S.A. (2008), The National Art School Paris Studio Award at La Cite Internationale Des Arts (2009), The Leipzig International Art Programme Residency, Germany (2010) and the International Painting Symposium at The Mark Rothko Centre in Latvia during (2017)
The work that he has produced as a result of these residencies has led to critical recognition in Australia’s national prizes including the Churchie Emerging Art Award (2005, 2007) and The Paddington Art Prize (2005,2016,2017), and The Glover Prize (2018) and (2021).
White has shown extensively throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, and the UK. His work has been collected by public institutions such as The Mark Rothko Art Center in Latvia and The Tweed Heads Regional Gallery in Australia.
HappenArt: And how would you describe your Artwork?
Anthony White: Manifestation (2023) is a recent series of works shown at Lennox St gallery Melbourne. The new works respond to Sidney Nolan’s 1966 Eureka Stockade mural In which Anthony White reclaims the painterly gesture as a form of dissent. Manifestation draws on new research into the 1854 Eureka Rebellion (Australia’s only ever armed civil uprising), the personal papers of Sidney Nolan and recent protest events in France, highlighting the increasing importance of his engagement with material, concept and history. Painted in France during a period marked by widespread public protests, these ten new works continue White’s wider thinking around the painterly gesture as a form of dissent, as well as the act of civil disobedience.
HA: And why Painting?
AW: Painting changed the artist’s life, Anthony White was managing a Relais- Chateux restaurant in Australia at the time when he was awarded the Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship.(2007) He further studied figuration at The New York Studio School (2008). Upon returning to Australia during (2009) after being shortlisted for three art prizes with links to studios in Paris he was the recipient of the residency at La Cite Internationale. Des Arts Residency in Paris for three months. After spending some time in the city the artist immigrated to France and set up a studio in the capital. Currently 2022 the artist was the recipient of The Creative Arts Fellow at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.The fellowship to research the library’s archive material related to the Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992), specifically his mural project, Eureka Stockade (1962-1965) which commemorates a miners rebellion during the gold rush.
HA: What are the qualities that a Painter should have?
AW: Persistence, curiousity, flexibility and hard work.
HA: Are your works advice for others or ´arms´ that help you defend yourself from others or from lived experiences?
HW: Anthony White is an Australian-born artist, living in the Parisian metropolitan region of France.As a European-based Australian artist his work is influenced by the socio-political context in France, the history of Australian colonialism, and a sense of growing fascism across the globe. White’s practice is particularly concerned with the political role of historical Modernism, and more current social movements.
HA: Are there any Artists who have influenced the way you paint or work?
AW: Many artists have influenced Anthony White from artists such as Kiefer,Beuys, Mondrian and his teacher in Australia the Romanian artist Aida Tomescu the list is endless. Like lots of things in lif it’s about timing that is really appropriate. Different things speak to you at different times
HA: What do you think of painting these days?
AW: The market has changed a lot people seem to buy with their ears and not their eyes. Painting is still relevant and a powerful force.
HA: In conclusion, what do you want to defend or say in your Art?
AW: The terrorist attacks in Paris during 2015 and their alarming proximity were an enormous personal, artistic and intellectual catalyst for Anthony White. In the context of the violence and meaningless loss of life, the artist questioned the validity of non- objective painting and his own reasons for pursuing abstraction. As White processed those events in the studio, the artist developed a focus on social values and the connection between civilisation and culture, which has manifested in a visual arts practice that reclaim the gestural mark as a signifier of dissent. White says” As artists it’s vital we question the notion of sovereign power, as well as the idealism of Western democracy. In line with that, my work is often a reflection to government policies (both current and historical), particularly those of the Australian Government”
Thank Anthony White.