Artist Profile


ROBERT MALHERBE LED THE WAY UP THREE FLIGHTS of quite steep stairs to his studio, in an unpretentious early 20thcentury building in Darlinghurst, unchanged save a couple of smart stainless steel doors. I’ve been up a lot of stairs to a lot of studios; there’s always the anticipation, often a sense of anxiety from the artist, when as dealer or writer you are the conduit between the maker and the world.

I usually walk around, but my Jack Russell had come with me and I wanted him to settle, so I first sat with an immediate view of some small pictures, mainly nudes and portraits. I hadn’t seen Robert’s work, and I wasn’t prepared for the scale. My immediate impression was of the impasto, Lucien Freud and Frank Auerbach came into my mind, but without the sense of pose. These paintings were quiet and intimate, small in scale, the largest no

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