Kevin Lincoln - Artist Page


Kevin Lincoln

“Ghosts of still-life are held within the minimal abstracts. The sensuous curve is perhaps a detail of the edge of a bowl against a vase, or the strong horizontal line where a bottle sits on a table. But they need not be read as such, the artist instead demands that we allow the weight within each work to take hold, feel the density of each colour, each form and take the time to allow a response to develop within us. Lincoln's paintings are not a quick fix -- they are breathtakingly obtuse. Generally more textured than the meticulous surfaces of the abstract paintings, the elements in the still-life paintings have a disconcerting solidity against the indistinct glowing backgrounds on which they sit. Like a miracle, wine and fishes hover in an apparition on the canvas. The intimacy engendered, even in the most expansive of the still-life paintings, is borne from the personal references the artist places within each work. An invitation to the exhibition of an admired artist, a familiar pot from the artist's collection, a bowl of figs or a shiny aubergine bought for lunch, these items are as much a glimpse into the artist's life as the shadowy self-portrait reflected in a mirror.” 

Styles and forms – Contemporary Australian Painting, Shandong Publishing Press, China, 2004. 

Known also for his still life paintings, Kevin Lincoln negotiates a singular path between abstraction and figuration with a discipline which borders upon reverence. He punctuates the painterly ‘field’ with recognisable objects and tools of the painting process: palette knifes, paint brushes, tubes of paint and bowls. He then interjects unexpected personal references such as the invitation to an exhibition by an admired artist, a coffee cup or an unopened letter. These small pictorial devices are as much traces of the artist’s life as the unforgiving self-portraits that appear as if reflected in mirrors. Lincoln’s internalised landscapes embody the silent contemplation of the artist immersed in his own creative process and the resultant body of work equally demands the prolonged and considered regard of Lincoln’s audience. The works are at once kind, intimate and contemplative. 

In September/October 2006, Kevin Lincoln accompanied Hendrik Kolenberg, Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, on a trip to Holland and thus became fascinated by the geometric fenestrations of Dutch architecture and the canals in the cities of Amsterdam and Delft. He visited many museum collections and, in particular, enjoyed the chance to view significant works of art by the 19th century painters Willem Witson and George Hendrik Breitner and the 20th century master, Piet Mondrian. Walking the canal-lined streets, he began to fully appreciate the influence of Dutch architecture on the De Stijl movement, of which Mondrian was a major protagonist. During his two-month sojourn, Lincoln sketched outdoors and made many small studies in watercolour and gouache in response to his urban surrounds and the work of Witson, Breitner and Mondrian. Upon returning to his Melbourne studio, he developed these studies into a series of abstract paintings and works on paper, which he titled House by a canal. Executed with Lincoln’s typical economy of line and restrained palette, the new body of work negotiates a singular path between abstraction and representation. 

With a distinguished professional career spanning over forty years Kevin Lincoln’s paintings, prints and drawings are held in collections of Australian state and regional galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and The Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2006 Kevin Lincoln’s contribution to Australian art was celebrated with the release of a monograph titled, Kevin Lincoln: Art and Life, written by Hendrik Kolenberg, Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and published by Niagara Publishing, Melbourne. Kevin Lincoln lives and works in Melbourne, Victoria.