Winter

Born Sheffield, England 1940, arrived Australia 1957


Peter Booth grew up in the industrial town of Sheffield, England. He studied at the Sheffield College of Art (1956–57), and after migrating to Australia in 1957, at the National Gallery School, Melbourne (1962–65).

Much of Booth’s work is defined by its dark subject matter, intense psychological content and gritty, nightmarish quality. His ‘apocalyptic paintings’ produced during the late 1970s and early 1980s offered foreboding views of humanity, with monstrous, hybrid creatures set in landscapes consumed by fire.

From 1984 the landscape held a dominant position in Booth’s subject matter, with bleak winter scenes a recurring image, relieved by infrequent images of verdant nature. Winter (1988), shows a harsh environment, with black rocks protruding from the white drift. Booth’s memory of the Sheffield winters provided the basis for this series of winter paintings.

Booth was the subject of the solo survey exhibition Peter Booth: Human Nature, National Gallery of Victoria (2003–04), and in 1982 represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. He has also been included in the Biennale of Sydney (1979, 1984 and 1988); Field to Figuration: Australian Drawing Revival 1960–86, National Gallery of Victoria (1987); and The Great Australian Art Exhibition 1788–1988, Art Gallery of South Australia and touring all state galleries (1988–89).

His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, most state galleries, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, several regional galleries and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.