detail: Anna Platten, Australia, born 1957, Woman and man in embrace, 1992, Adelaide, oil on canvas, 148.0 x 131.5 cm. Möet & Chandon Art Acquisition Fund 1992. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. ©  Anna Platten


3 August - 18 November 2012

In celebration of the South Australian Living Artists Festival the Gallery is recognising the work of one of Australia’s greatest figure painters, Anna Platten.

Anna Platten has been actively painting and teaching in Adelaide for more than thirty years and this is the first comprehensive survey of her highly coveted work.

The display includes her paintings and drawings which are distinguished for depicting intricately constructed imaginary worlds. Spanning from the early 1980s to the present day the installation presents a complex dream-like matrix formed by Platten’s unfolding autobiographical epic.

The display includes numerous loans from private collections and among the highlights is the Gallery’s own much-loved painting, Woman and man embrace, 1992. It is also the first showing of the Gallery’s newly acquired Ourselves as Zoe. A dream, a web, a puzzle, 2011 which explores themes of mortality and unrequited love.

This special event reveals Platten as a virtuosic painter of universal themes such as the passing of youth and beauty, motherhood and the ever changing dynamic of human relationships. Platten’s extraordinary realist approach to her work lures her viewers into strangely familiar worlds which point to the often unknown and fragile nature of our own lives.


Detail: Anna Platten, Australia, born 1957. Ourselves as Zoe. A dream, a web, a puzzle, 2011, Adelaide, oil on linen, 186.0 x 166.7 cm (sight); Gift of Michael Abbott AO QC, Carol Adams, Beverley, Anderson, Jill Cottrell, Professor Anne Edwards AO, Diana Evans, Frances Gerard, Jennifer Hallett, Anne Kidman, Shane Le Plastrier, Lipman Karas, John Mansfield AM, Professor Jennifer McKay, Pamela McKee, Judith Rischbieth, Patricia Ryan, Janette Thornton, Sue Tweddell, Richard T Walsh and Irena Zhang through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation Collectors Club 2011. Flower – Dedicated to Mark Conway Walter, 2012, Adelaide, oil on linen, 210.0 x 119.0 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Hill Smith Gallery. Woman and man in embrace, 1992, Adelaide, oil on canvas, 148.0 x 131.5 cm; Möet & Chandon Art Acquisition Fund 1992. Landmark, 2009, Adelaide, oil on linen, 185.5 x 135.0 cm; Private collection. Myself as Miss Havisham, 2001, Adelaide, oil on linen, 155.0 x 143.0 cm; Antonio and Angelina Russo, Adelaide. ©  Anna Platten


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