William MacKinnon – ‘Australian Art Collector’



‘Collectors Love’ section

2018 has been a bumper year for painter William Mackinnon, with a sell-out show in March at Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane, a major solo exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery in Adelaide in October and inclusion as a finalist in both the 2018 Archibald and Wynne Prize exhibitions. Currently based between Australia and Spain, Mackinnon’s diverse painting practice reflects his broad training and experience as an artist.  

Over the past two decades he has apprenticed with Jeffrey Smart and Tim Maguire, worked as an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Texas and as a field officer for the Papunya Tula artists cooperative in the Northern Territory.  The result is his work can vary from contemporary architectural landscapes to studio interiors and bristling renditions of remote desert communities. Whether depicting alluring coastlines blazing in light and colour, slightly sinister nocturnes or lonely roadscapes, there is always a pervading undercurrent of psychological tension.  

Art dealer Jan Murphy comments that:

“Will’s appeal is largely based upon the sense of familiarity that overwhelms many of us when we look at his work. Growing up in a country with such a strong beach culture, the long narrow tracks winding towards a secluded beach or the headlights appearing over a hill on an isolated road, are reminiscent of the driving holidays that so many of us have taken.”

Hugo Michel adds that:

“Australian landscape painting is having a resurgence through a contemporary lens. Collectors are drawn to William Mackinnon’s practice because he reinvigorates familiar nostalgic scenes and often creates dream-like collages of coastal and regional Australia. Working in a large scale, this allows Mackinnon to be unconventional in his technique, a quality that contributes to his reputation as an incredible contemporary landscape painter.”

Sydney Art writer and editor, Victoria Hynes