Photograph by Gary Grealy

Alexander McKenzie was born in 1971 in Sydney, Australia, the son of Scottish migrants. He studied at the Julian Ashton Art School where in 1994 he won both the inaugural Brett Whiteley Scholarship to the school and the Brereton Memorial Prize for draughtsmanship from the Art Gallery of NSW.

Alexander McKenzie is known for his evocative luminous landscape paintings which recall both the themes of Western symbolist painting and the techniques of the 15th Century Dutch Old Masters. Increasingly Alexander McKenzie’s paintings evoke a strong narrative content whilst retaining his preoccupation with the effects of light and atmosphere.

In the 2007 catalogue essay for Halflight, Belinda Scerri wrote“McKenzie’s work is distinguished by its technical proficiency, inspired design and execution. His paintings exemplify virtuosic paint handling with sharply observed detail and dreamy sfumato….McKenzie considers art as a medium between the visible and the invisible. He eschews allegorism in favour of implied narrative. He allows the mood and season of his landscapes, and the objects within them, to speak to the viewer directly”.

In Alexander McKenzie’s view of the landscape, spirituality is paramount. It is a place of contrasting emotions: you feel alive and, at the same time, aware of your own mortality.

Alexander McKenzie has exhibited extensively with over 20 solo exhibitions in both Australia and the United Kingdom since 1996. He is a five time finalist in the Archibald Prize for portraiture at the Art Gallery of NSW, a seven time finalist in the Wynne Prize for Landscape painting and has been in numerous group exhibitions including the Blake Prize for Religious Art, The Gilchrist Fisher Award London, ART London, The British Art Fair, The Glasgow Art Fair, Dublin Art Fair and the Auckland Art Fair.


Curriculum Vitae

Born 1971 Sydney, Australia

Studies and Travel

2011 Kyoto Japan, New York USA
2007 Cumbria, UK
1995-2002 Studies and travel - England, Ireland, France, Scotland and Italy
1997 Charlie Sheard Studio School, Sydney
1996-1997 Study tour of Europe
1995 Residency, La Briche, Loire Valley, France
1994 Residency, Riversdale-Bundanon, Arthur Boyd Bequest, Nowra, NSW
1994 Inaugural Whiteley Scholarship, Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney
1991-93 Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney
1989 City Art Institue, Sydney

Solo Exhibitions

2013 The Cairn, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2012 Arboretum, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2011 The Lake Road, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2010 The Keep, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2009 Tending Trees, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2008 Lakeland, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2008 Winter, Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2007 Half-Light, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2007 Inner Shore, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2005 New Paintings, Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2005 Stepping Westward, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2004 New Paintings, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney
2003 Hemisphere, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2002 New Paintings, King Street Gallery on Burton at Span, Melbourne
2002 New Paintings, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney
2001 New Paintings, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2000 Scotland and Ireland, King Street Gallery on Burton
1998 King Street Gallery, Sydney
1998 Renard Wardell Gallery, Melbourne
1997 'Fish Works’, King Street Gallery, Sydney

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2013 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2012 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2012 Tatersalls Landscape Prize, Brisbane
2012 Moran Portrait Prize, Sydney
2011 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2011 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2011 Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand, Martin Browne Fine Art
2011 Approach to the landscape, Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2010 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2010 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2010 Silent spaces, Maquarie University art Gallery
2009 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2009 Blake Prize for Religious Art
2008 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2008 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2008 New Works By Gallery Artists, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2008 ART 2008, 20th London Contemporart Art Fair
2008 Approach to the landscape, Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2007 Summer Exhibition, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2007 Winter Catalogue, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2007 Dobell Prize for Drawing, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2007 ART 2007, 19th London Contemporart Art Fair
2007 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2007 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2007 Glasgow Art Fair, Scotland, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
2006 Summer Exhibition, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2006 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2005 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2005 Mosman Art Prize, Sydney
2005 ART 2005, 17th London Contemporary Art Fair
2005 Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami USA
2005 'Artists' Artists' , Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2004 ART 2004 - 16th London Contemporary Art Fair (Rebecca Hossack Gallery), London
2004 Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami, USA
2003 ART 2003- 15th London Contemporary Art Fair (Rebecca Hossack Gallery), London
2003 Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami, USA
2003 'An Approach to the Landscape' Axia Modern Art, Melbourne
2003 Tatersalls Landscape Prize, Brisbane
2002 ART 2002-14th London Contemporary Art Fair (Rebecca Hossack Gallery), London
2002 ART London, Chelsea (Rebecca Hossack Gallery), London
2001 Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2001 ‘Bat, Ball and Brush, A Summer of Cricket and Art at the S.C.G,' Sydney
2001 ART 2001 13th London Contemporary Art Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2001 Contemporary Benefactors Art Auction, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2000 The Gilchrist Fisher Award, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2000 'Last Show of the Year,' King Street Gallery on Burton
2000 Christmas Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, Dublin
2000 ART 2000 -12th London Contemporary Art Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2000 Melbourne Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2000 'Southern Sydney Artists,' Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW 
1999 Christmas Exhibition, Soloman Gallery Dublin
1999 Last Show of The Year, King Street Gallery on Burton
1998 Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
1998 King Street Gallery, Sydney
1998 Youthworks Charity Auction, Park Hyatt, Sydney
1998 Conrad Jupiters Art Exhibition, Gold Coast QLD
1997-99 Alice Bale Scholarship, Caufield Arts Centre, Melbourne
1997-99 Tattersalls Landscape Travelling Scholarship, The Gunnery Art Space, Sydney
1997 King Street Gallery
1997 James Joyce Foundation, The Coach House Gallery, Sydney
1997 Casula Powerhouse, Casula NSW
1996/7 Fishers Ghost Exhibition, Campbelltown Bicentennial City Art Gallery NSW
1996 Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney
1995 12 Figurative Painters, Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney
1991-5 Julian Ashton Graduates Exhibition, Sydney

Collections

Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Royal Bank of Scotland, Glasgow, Manchester
Macquarie Bank, Australia
Jackson Smith Solicitors, Sydney
Park Hyatt, Melbourne
Culwulla Chambers, Sydney
Sutherland Shire Council, NSW
Brown Rudnick Freed & Gesner
PC, London
Lowensteins, Sydney
Maitland Regional Gallery
Mudgee Regional Gallery
Tweed Rivers Regional Gallery
Mercy Health Care, Melbourne
University of Queensland Art Museum
Private collections in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Dublin, Zurich, London, Texas, Miami and Hong Kong

Selected Bibliography

2012 Craven Owen, Alexander McKenzie Arboretum, Art Almanac, May 2012, p.42-43
2011 Alexander McKenzie, Harper's Bazzar, May 2011, p.168
2011 Litson Jo, Archibald exudes energy, Sunday Telegraph, 10 April 2011
2011 McDonald John, comment, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2011
2010 Allen Christopher, The Big Picture, Weekend Australian, 1 May 2010 P.11
2010 Galinovic Maria, Hat Trick May Point to Win, Leader 23 March 2010. P.3
2010 Arts Diary, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October, p.13
2009 Litson Jo, Brushing Aside The Reccession, Sunday Telegraph, 22 November 2010, p.38
2009 Christopher Lissa, Open Gallery, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November, p.14
2009 Gill Harbant, Alexander's Cool Art is Hot Property, Herald Sun, 22 June 2009, p.36
2009 Frost Andrew, Critics Choice, Australian Art Collector, Issue 21, p.200
2009, Lopez Annemarie, Always a Painter, Australian Art Review, Issue 21, p.64
2008 Stephens Andrew, A Great Deviding Strangeness, The Age, 19 April, p.17
2008 O'Brian Mark, Archibald In His Sights, Leader 4 March, p.3
2007 Stavely Brian: Scottish Enlightenment; the luminous landscape of Alexander McKenzie,
2007 Coast and Country, Volume 7, no 1, pg 1192005 Anderson, Patricia : Art and Australia,debates dollars and delusions, Pandora Press, pg 520
2005 In Melbourne : Red 19 Magazine, May-June 05, pg 21
2004 Sarks, E.: Memory and Observation, Lino Magazine Issue 6 pg.25
2004 Low Lenny Ann: All That Glimmers, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August
2004 Galinovic: Maria, Art a Window on World, Leader , 29 July ,pg 34
2004 Departure points: Metro, Melbourne Age, 6 May 2003 McCullock, S.: Paths across the great divide, The Weekend Australian 27 September, pg.28
2003 Exhibition Dairy, The World of Interiors, London, September, pg.153
2003 Looking at Landscapes, The Lady London 7 October
2003 Evans, Holly: The Diary, The Melbourne Age 7 September, pg.2 2002 De Brito, Sam: From Garbo to Galleries, The Sunday Telegraph 18 August, pg.35
2002 Pearlman, J.: Spotlight, The Sydney Morning Herald 8 August 2000 Smee, Sebastian: The Loch Smith Exhibitions, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June, pg.24
2000 Gilchrist Fisher Award, Art Review Magazine, London, February
2000 Ingleby, Richard: The Gilchrist Fisher Award, The Independent, London, 15-21 January, pg.15 1998 Makin, Jeffrey: Alexander McKenzie, The Herald Sun, Melbourne, 16 November, pg.90
1997 Exhibition commentary: Self Portrait in a Group, Fishworks series, Art and Australia,
1997 Not for our eyes only, St George Sutherland Leader, December
1997 Ryan, Christine: McKenzie work wins The Leader Art Award, St George Sutherland Leader, 13 May