Melbourne, 14 Nov 2020 — 6 Dec 2020

35 Derby Street [PO Box 1183], Collingwood 3066

Agitation in Swingtime
- Peter Neilson

‘Reality is the motif, and the poet must not adapt his experience to that of the philosopher.’
– Wallace Stevens, 20th century American poet


‘Working on my large paintings in my studio, ‘alone’, I am an “artist” and I am a “public.” I paint. I assess. I wait, for a “frisson of ecstasy “ (Aragon), which creates some new (intuitive?) idea, something that I have never thought. I paint it on the canvas. I assess again, and wait again, for another “event” (Lazzarato). When I “sense” it, I act on that possible “percept” (Bergson) and position it on the canvas. I wait again for another “interval between received and performed movements.” (Bergson); and so it goes . . . As I work, my painting comes to me as something wholly new; that is, the painting becomes something I was not expecting; something that literally has made a life of its own and, once made has no other purpose than to be in the world as “a work” and “the work” of art. (After reading Adorno’s essay Vers une musique informelle this statement, as Adorno himself would say, must be modified. He writes, ‘Whatever manifests itself as immediate, ultimate, as the fundamental given, will turn out, according to the insights of dialectical logic, to be already mediated or postulated.’ However, Adorno continues, ‘Of undoubted significance . . . is Hegel’s insight that although all immediacy is mediated and dependent on its opposite, the concept of an unmediated thing – that is, something which has become or has been set free – is not wholly engulfed by mediation.’)’  – Peter Neilson, 2020


‘I am the angel of reality seen for a moment standing in the door’
– Wallace Stevens from Angel Surrounded by Paysans (1949)


Peter Neilson
Figurative narrative painter and draughtsman Peter Neilson was born in Melbourne and completed a Diploma …
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