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David Noonan

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David Noonan, Australia/United Kingdom b.1969 | Type 1-16 1993 (detail) | Oil on canvas | Gift of James Mollison, AO, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2010. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © The artist

David Noonan

Type 1-16 1993

David Noonan is a London-based Australian artist with a growing international reputation. He was born in Ballarat, Victoria, where he studied art until moving to Melbourne in 1992 to complete his education at the Victorian College of the Arts.

While still a student, Noonan became involved in the strong artist-run gallery scene in Melbourne. The experimental art practiced there in the 1990s was also a significant influence on his work, reflected in this set of paintings grouped under the title Type 1-16. Made with cheap materials in large numbers and endlessly reconfigurable, the panels resist the fine art conventions of painting. Noonan showed a set from this series, under the title Type 1-36, at ‘Australian Perspecta 1993’ in Sydney.

Noonan began the 'Type' series by making Components, plaster models of imaginary buildings in the International Style that resemble fragments of a fictitious utopian vision for a Modernist city. He photographed the Components and used both positive and negative prints, which he referred to as Models, as the basis for his monochromatic paintings.

When painting, Noonan deliberately imitated any defects in the photographs, such as lens flair or blurring, to impart a sense of movement. This implies passage through space and therefore through time, giving the images a cinematic feel. Film, particularly science fiction, influenced much of Noonan’s work in the 1990s and video was also a significant part of his output.