The next round of auctions is slowly getting underway, with all the major auction houses preparing their spring sales and of course including all the well-known names of Australian art history.
Today, we would like to present an artist you most likely have never heard of, because we think his work and life should be known to many more art enthusiasts.
To be honest, we hadn’t heard of Robert Boyed Mitchell (1919 – 2002) either. But when we were privileged to enter into his world and see his very extensive body of work, we were both very excited and enthralled.
And then we heard about his extraordinary life: Mitchell grew up in very modest circumstances in Cobar and Sydney, was imprisoned as a POW in Singapore and Japan, studied art in Sydney after the war, and moved to Toronto in the 1950 to be close to the emerging scene of Abstract Expressionism of New York, and then in the 1960 and 70s he lived in London with its vibrant art, fashion and music scene – we were even more moved by Mitchell’s work and were delighted to be given the opportunity to make Robert Mitchell’s art more widely known and accessible to all.
One of the results is www.robertmitchellartist.com.au which we have designed and built in collaboration with the artist’s family. The website pays tribute to a great artist and showcases the talent that developed into a unique voice in art expressing the joy of life.
And we are not the only ones enthused by Robert Mitchell’s art: Many respected art professionals, among them Tony Geddes, director of the Mosman Art Gallery, Therese Kenyon, director of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Frank Watters, director of Watters Gallery, one of Australia’s longest-serving and most respected contemporary art galleries, and Renee Free, Senior Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of NSW 1966 to 1996, recognise the talent of Robert Mitchell and have kindly contributed testimonials to the website.
The website makes wide use of Robert Mitchell’s extensive diary notes to bring his experiences and art to life, presenting an overview from the earliest drawings to his latest paintings. Photos of Mitchell’s art, his family and artist friends – among them John Coburn and Jon Molvig – and their works from the Robert Mitchell art collection give a colourful view of a life devoted to art.
Robert Mitchell’s work is represented in the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, the Mosman Art Gallery and in private collections in Australia.
If you feel like sending us a line or two, we would love to hear your comments on Mitchell’s art and the website.