In Allsorts, Peter Lankas presents his first solo exhibition at Gallery 139. In preparation for this, we talked about what Lankas wanted to focus on and found that he wanted to just paint and not feel constrained to a specific subject or place. For those who know the artist, this is very much Lankas' personality and by giving him the freedom to paint anything he wanted, he has actually ended up revisiting many past subjects such as the service station and the Merewether coastline and the suburban vernacular he captures so well. By not asking Lankas to be specific, the artist has naturally created his own visual voice.
Lankas has a long exhibition history, he started exhibiting straight after graduating from Alexander Mackie CAE, Sydney in 1980 and since I've known him in Newcastle, I've seen him continue to push his own boundaries while somehow maintaining a “Lankas-charm” in all his works. This charm is Lankas' ability to capture the quintessential Australia, almost by accident but never by default. Born in the Czech Republic and migrating to Australia at the tender age of 11 years – Peter grew up on the picturesque northern beaches of Sydney during the 1970s. He spend his formative years growing up in the inner-city suburbs of Sydney being influenced by punk music and his art school friends. It was during these years, he painted the people around him and the suburbs and has continued to find delight in the everyday and what we think of as the ordinary. His unique and often humorous take on suburbia sometimes skates close to poking fun at his adopted Australia but instead it somehow wraps a hug around the people and the familiar and celebrates them.
Congratulations Peter Lankas on a beautiful exhibition and I hope all of you visiting the gallery enjoy listening to the sweet sounds of this unique artist.
ALL SORTS is on now until 19 November 2016.