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Derek Hambly


In 1967, after spending my university years studying and loving the masters, I let go of them and began studying myself. I realized for an artist to develop himself, he needs to get down to what he’s about and his own journey as a creator. That realization helped set me apart, and I knew only through that journey could I get close to finding myself, and the truth about art.

So I molded my landscape works to develop them into abstracted landscapes, and then into hard-edge abstraction. When I noticed there was really none of me in those works, I went back to the beginning and discovered in my landscapes shapes, symbols and movements of the forces that nature kept offering. They eventually became the ideas and concepts for my present abstract expressionistic paintings.

It’s no accident that after 45 years of studying myself, I feel that I am finally a master of my own creative forces. I don’t just paint the canvas. I am the painter within the painting. My work is my signature.

Born in 1945 in Melbourne, Australia, artist Derek Hambly graduated in 1967 from Caulfield College in Melbourne, currently known as Monash University.

In 1967, Derek Hambly was the only artist invited and allowed on site to draw and paint the construction of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He was commissioned by the museum’s architect, Sir Roy Grounds, to record an exciting phase of this interesting and important building.

Images of Derek’s historic drawings and paintings are in the gallery’s archival files and remain as significant documents of a key moment in Melbourne’s cultural history.

In 1969 Derek mounted his first solo exhibition at Gallery 99 in Melbourne. As a professional artist in Australia, he became known in high art circles as “One of the most powerful young abstract painters in Australia.”

In 1999, America beckoned. Derek answered with a solo exhibition at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. A rapid-fire succession of shows throughout the east coast and Midwest followed. Some of Derek’s recent exhibitions include solo shows at Steve Martin Galleries of Miami and New Orleans. Other shows during this period include Gruen Galleries of Chicago and Caelum Gallery in New York City.

Many publications, including Madison Magazine, have featured Derek. Kevin Lynch of The Capital Times wrote in 2002 that “The Australian-born painter wields his talent and unabated energy as one of the most impressive abstract artists to hit the United States in years.”

Derek Hambly Studios/Gallery is located in Jefferson, Wisconsin, and Derek is currently represented by Steve Martin Galleries of New Orleans, Pollock Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, Galerie Matisse, of Lake Geneva, WI, Fanny Garver Gallery of Madison, WI.