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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

John Nixon 1, January 1979, 1979 (printed 2012)

Robert Rooney

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 24.0 cm x 35.2 cm, image: 20.0 cm x 30.5 cm)

John Nixon (b. 1949), installation artist and painter, studied at the Preston Institute of Technology and the National Gallery School in the late 1960s and 1970. Becoming interested in multi-media art and art as language, he showed at the Pinocotheca Gallery between 1973 and 1977 and was represented in many important group shows from 1975 onward. Over time, he was to develop a minimalist, abstract aesthetic influenced by the utopian art and politics of Kasimir Malevich. At the beginning of the 1980s he and his then-wife, Jenny Watson, established Art Projects, an austere space reached by many flights of stairs in a rambling city building. Since that time, a good deal of Nixon’s work has come under the umbrella title of Self-portrait (non-objective composition) including abstracts using only the techniques, materials and compositional modes of the Constructivists. In 1990 he began the Experimental Painting Workshop (EPW), and from 1995 produced a plethora of predominantly orange works; later he took to ‘furtive’ use of silver and has recently produced polychromatic abstracts. The forthcoming EPW: Applied Paintings Project For A Kindergarten I & II 2006 & 2011, incorporating two new bodies of more than 70 paintings, a poster project, archival photography and an experimental music performance, will be Nixon's first major public gallery exhibition since 2007. He is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, most state galleries and the MCA.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Accession number: 2012.99

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Robert Rooney (age 42 in 1979)

John Nixon (age 30 in 1979)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.