Peter Booth

Peter Booth / Australia, b.1940 / Untitled 2002 / Oil on canvas / Purchased 2006 with funds from the Estate of Lawrence F King in memory of the late Mr and Mrs SW King through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Peter Booth 2002/Licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Peter Booth is known for his figurative, surrealist paintings that draw on dream imagery and symbolism, often representing humans and animals in conflict, desolate forests or abandoned cities. Booth first came to notice for his minimalist paintings in the 1960s and 70s, but later his style shifted to his more characteristic metaphoric, thickly painted canvases conveying a sense of a menacing, apocalyptic world. He has cited artists Francisco Goya and William Blake as influences, and Australian painter John Brack was also his teacher and mentor.

Booth was born in the bleak industrial city of Sheffield in England and much of his imagery draws on  childhood memories of a city of smoking, blackened chimneys. Untitled 2002 captures a sense of desolation with its heavy layers of black paint, and strange geometric forms that punctuate a nondescript landscape. Falling snow adds to a sense of silent abandonment.