We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Night swimmer



William Wright AM


17 Feb 1937 – 31 Oct 2014

No image
  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    104.4 x 150.2 x 4.2 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Hilarie Mais 2015. Donated through the Australian Governemnt's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of William Wright
    Artist information
    William Wright AM

    Works in the collection


  • About

    William Wright was born in Sydney in 1937. He undertook a Diploma in Painting at the National Art School in Sydney from 1954-58 and went on to study in Florence and London during the 1960s. His first solo exhibition was held in Edinburgh in 1965 shortly followed by exhibitions in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. He was well known as an curator, lecturer and arts administrator.

    These two paintings are from a peak period in Wright’s art practice, painted during Wright’s stay in London in the 1960s when he was involved in the hard edge geometric and colour field painting, conceptual art, and pop art movements. Minimalism was also a lifelong influence to Wright, and the impact of these movements is obvious in the works. Although he continued to paint, Wright stopped actively exhibiting in 1968 and did not begin again until 2008, when he showed at Perth’s Galerie Duseseldoef under the title Triptych, along with his artist wife Hilarie Mais and their daughter Jessica Mais Wright.

    Shortly before his death Wright said: “Night swimmer is the last of my figurative-come abstract paintings. From 1974 to 1975 anamorphic shapes cut from blue-black paper materialised and I noticed a figure. It’s directly related to the figurative shapes identified in the Night swimmer painting.” 1

    1. From Art Monthly Australia, summer 2014/15, No. 276, 72

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by William Wright AM

See all 8 works