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An image of Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances by James Gleeson

James Gleeson

(Australia 21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008)

Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances
Media category
Materials used
ink, collage on paper

102.5 x 69.0

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., "Gleeson '78".
Purchased 1987
Accession number
© Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation
Not on display
Further information

"When you make collages - and I did quite a few quite early in the piece - you bring together random elements. However, you do make a judgement on an aesthetic level as to whether they work or not. It doesn't matter whether they're related in a rational way or not, but they must work together aesthetically."
- James Gleeson 1993

Gleeson began making a large number of collages at a period when he was unable to paint consistently, due to commitments as an advisor to the National Gallery of Australia. They are complex juxtapositions of drawn and collaged elements; ink is applied to the paper in a number of ways - for example, with a brush onto dampened paper which is then pressed on a textured surface, leaving a ghostly impression, or using the technique of frottage, where the paper is rubbed with a crayon or wax, allowing a texture underneath to be superimposed on the image.

'Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances' is from one of his most important series of collages, the 'Locus-Solus' suite, derived from a surrealist novel by Raymond Roussel, also the name of a work conceived jointly by Gleeson and Robert Klippel between 1972 and 1978.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Bibliography (2)

James Agapitos, Look, 'Call of the benefactor', pg. 12-13, Newtown, May 2006, 13 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian drawings: from the collection, Sydney, 1992. 20

Exhibition history (3)

Contemporary Australian Drawings - from the collection:

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

James Gleeson: Beyond the screen of sight: