Joe Furlonger

Joe Furlonger was born in Cairns, Queensland, in 1952. The artist studied at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane in the early and mid-1970s, and later that decade also received a Diploma of Art from Alexander Mackie CAE, Sydney. In 1988 he was awarded the prestigious Moet & Chandon Fellowship, travelling to France where he lived and worked in Epernay for a year. In 2002 Furlonger was awarded the Fleurieu Art Prize for Landscape with his composition Hills, Carnarvon, Central Queensland. Furlonger’s work has been exhibited widely both in Australia and abroad. His work is represented in significant collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and University of Queensland Art Museum.

Joe Furlonger is known for his large wide and energetic land and seascapes. He is also known for his large archetypal figures that inhabit and fill to the brim these Australian spaces. In Circus clown 2005 and Circus ring and spotlights 2005, Furlonger explores the energy and thrill of the circus, originally inspired by the winter circus or Cirque d'Hiver in Paris. While in Paris Furlonger would paint and draw through performances attempting to capture the fleeting energy of the performers, and the theatrical spectacular of the space. Circus clown 2005 however seems to give us a glimpse of the dark side of circus life, where the clown is surrounded more by shadows than bright lights. Circus ring and spotlights 2005 gives us such a high angle view of the ring, that we can only see the circus as a child might in amazement.

Circus ring and spotlights
2005
Acrylic bound pigment on canvas
29.7 x 44.7 cm
Courtesy of Heiser Gallery
197A Boundary St
West End
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