D’Lan Contemporary To Present Paddy Bedford At Frieze Masters 2024 

EMILY KAM KNGWARRAY, Alhalkere - My Country
Paddy Bedford in his studio. Image courtesy Geaorges Petitjean.

We are exceptionally proud to announce that D’Lan Contemporary will once again participate in Frieze Masters, London, this October 2024.

Last year, a global audience of art lovers embraced the work of Emily Kam Kngwarray in the first ever presentation of an Australian First Nations artist at the Fair.

This year, we will present the work of another of Australia’s greatest painters, Goowoomji Nyunkuny Paddy Bedford. A senior Gija artist and respected lawman, his experiences travelling his traditional Country as a stockman all merge in powerful iconic images of his oeuvre. Simultaneously ‘abstract’ to Western eyes and ‘representational’ to the painter, Bedford’s work, like all East Kimberley painting, defies easy categorisation. It works in a distinctive way, simultaneously concealing and revealing the land, which sets it apart from Western landscape traditions.

Paddy Bedford started working in the gouache medium while on a trip to Melbourne at the start of his painting career in 1998. At a local artist’s studio that belonged to a friend of Tony Oliver, Jirrawun’s artistic director, Paddy, along with two of his fellow Gija artists, was introduced to new materials of thick composition paper in black and white, tubes of gouache and pastel artists crayons. Before then, the artists had only painted on either board or canvas. Paddy quickly took to the new medium and discovered that works on paper were faster, more provisional, and one could work through ideas more directly.

The works he produced at this time were immediately effortless. Although their energy was reminiscent of his paintings on canvas, the smaller scale of the paper determined a dramatic scaling down of his approach. However, these were not minor versions of larger or more significant pictures but something different altogether. Paddy Bedford would return to gouache as a daily part of his painting practice five years later. The direct and informal properties of working in gouache would complement his established works on canvas. His compositions were endlessly variable, and more than his large-scale paintings, his gouaches were experiments in form, design and colour.

The exhibition at Frieze will present significant works on canvas alongside a gallery of works on paper in gouache, direct from the artist’s Estate.

This exhibition will also coincide with the publication of a book by D’Lan Contemporary, in association with Paddy Bedford’s Estate, dedicated to the gouache practice of the artist.

In addition, prior to this and as part of our role as representatives of the artist’s Estate, we will present an exhibition of gouache works by Paddy Bedford in Melbourne, this coming August 2024.

We’ll share more news on these exciting projects very soon. If you would like to register your interest in available works, or the upcoming publication, we invite you to do so now.

Register interest here.