Philip Wolfhagen’s ‘Concept for Fifth Transect’ captures the artist’s enchantment with the Australian landscape and the tactility of his painting process. The fluid troughs and peaks of nature are shaped through refined brushwork and his signature combination of oils and beeswax. Deborah Hart, Head of Australian Art at National Gallery of Australia, describes how his work “reminds us that these apparently evanescent natural phenomena can convey tremendous dramatic presence and evoke a sense of poetry and music.”
Philip Wolfhagen is Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary landscape painter. Philip Wolfhagen creates images that are mysterious and somber in mood, produced with thickly applied pigment. They are inspired by the atmospheric landscape of northern Tasmania and the emotive qualities of light and weather. The son of a woolgrower, he grew up in the Tasmanian Midlands. He studied at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart, from 1983 and from 1986 to 1987, at the Sydney College of the Arts and the University of Sydney in 1990. His art frequently makes reference to the work of John Constable, seeking to transpose Constable’s oil sketches into contemporary idiom. Like Constable, he likes to paint places he knows best, a landscape that is personal, a landscape nearby his home.
Wolfhagen’s work is held in major public and corporate collections in Australia and in private collections nationally and internationally, with the largest national public collection of his work currently owned by Newcastle Art Gallery, which held a survey exhibition in 2013. His work was included in the 2013 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, ‘Australia’, the most significant survey of Australian art ever mounted in the UK.