Philip Wolfhagen

23 May

June 17, 2023

Philip Bacon Galleries

Philip Wolfhagen (b.1963, Launceston) is a leading Australian contemporary landscape painter who lives and works in Longford, Tasmania. He is inspired by the atmospheric landscape of northern Tasmania and the emotive qualities of light and weather. Wolfhagen’s paintings are unique in his use of beeswax mixed with oils. His work is physical, dense in its application, sombre in mood and tonality, the result of a deeply experienced, enduring engagement with an ancient, yet eternally living subject.

Wolfhagen studied at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart from 1983 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1987 before moving to Sydney, where he studied at the Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney in 1990. He returned to live and work in Tasmania in 1996. Since then, he has held over fifty solo exhibitions in Australia and abroad. In 2003 he exhibited Archipelago, a large 6 panel work, at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston as part of the 10 Days on the Island festival. In 2013, a survey exhibition covering 25 years of Wolfhagen’s work, Illumination: The art of Philip Wolfhagen was staged by Newcastle Art Gallery and Tasmanian Museum Art Gallery, which then went on to tour nationally. A major publication accompanied the exhibition with essays by writers Tim Winton, Jane Clark, Craig Judd and William Wright. Also in 2013, Wolfhagen was included in the major survey exhibition Australia held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the first exhibition of Australian art to be staged at the RA since 1963.

Selected group exhibitions include Australian Perspecta, at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney (1997); Uncommon World: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2000); Depth of Field, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2003); Constable and Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2006); Wonderful World, The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2007); Time and Place, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2008); Curious Colony, Newcastle Art Gallery (2010) and New Romantics, Gippsland Art Gallery, Victoria (2011).

Amongst his various awards and achievements, Wolfhagen was the winner of the 2007 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; winner of the 2017 Lloyd Rees Art Prize at Colville Gallery, Hobart; and winner of the Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Sydney in 2001. He was also awarded the Centenary Medal, for his contribution to the Arts in 2001. Wolfhagen’s work is held in major Australian public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra; and overseas in the Muzeum Narodowe W Warsawie, Poland.

Image: Philip Wolfhagen, An Altarpiece for the Autumn Equinox, 2023. oil and beeswax on linen, 3 panels, 120 x 238cm overall (7cm spacing); panel I 120 x 63cm, panel II 120x 96cm, panel III 120 x 63cm

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