Graeme DRENDEL (02 July 1953- )
Born Ouyen, Victoria
Graeme Drendel is a key Australian figurative painter and printmaker who is known for his 'enigmatic works depicting figures of solitude and introspection.' (Gavin Fry) His works are often set in isolated landscapes and situations, and his powerful images most often relate to the human condition.
Becoming the first member of his family to undertake tertiary studies Graeme Drendel received a studentship to study Secondary Art and Craft Teaching. Country students could undertake their first two years study at Ballarat or Bendigo Art Schools. Graham studied at the Ballarat Teacher' College and Ballarat School of Mines in 1971 and 1972 before completing the course at Melbourne State College in 1974 While studying in Ballarat Graeme lived in the student departmental hostel 'Beaufort House, and had many formational experiences during his first foray outside of the Mallee.
At Ballarat Graeme Drendel became aware of the painter Gareth Sanson who lectured at Ballarat Teachers' College. Although not directly taught by Sansom Graeme was drawn to the immediacy of his work. At Melbourne Graeme chose Printmaking as his major working with Printmaking lecturers Stephen Spurrier and Jim Taylor, and drawing with John Neeson.
After teaching for several years, Graeme undertook a life changing and extensive travelling tour throughout Italy, United Kingdom and United States at which time he decided he would always depict the human figure. Recognised for his intelligent observations of the human condition, Graeme’s art invites contemplation and reveals the humour of everyday life.
As a prolific user of sketchbooks Graeme Drendel records close observations, which can inform his paintings.
Graeme Drendel is a regular finalist in the Archibald Portrait Prize, Sulman Prize, Paul Guest Prize, and in 2022 he won the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize with his portrait of fellow artist Lewis Miller.
In 2021 he received a Federation University Distinguished Alumni Award.
An academic portrait of Federation University Australia Vice Chancellor Helen Bartlett.