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After the eclipse



James Gleeson


21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008

Artist profile

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    pastel, watercolour
    35.5 x 50.7 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., watercolour "Gleeson 15.1.83".

    Purchased 1989
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    James Gleeson

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Before embarking on the oil paintings of the 1980s, Gleeson made a series of drawings in watercolour and pastel, experimenting with different mediums in order to ascertain which served his working process best. He soon came to reject the use of colour in his preliminary drawings, as it confined him too rigidly, at too early a stage, in the overall process.

    '... I hadn't worked much in watercolour and just for a year or so I had a spate of watercolours, followed by a spate of pastels ... Basically I was trying to discover what I could do with watercolour. I knew what I could do with oil paint, but I wasn't sure what I could do with watercolour. And they were experiments really, in discovering its mysteries and its possibilities. And the same with pastel. I was fascinated by Degas' pastels, the way he crusted them on, and I was interested in giving them that sort of textured quality', Gleeson quoted in Renée Free's unpublished catalogue of James Gleeson's work.

    Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 77.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by James Gleeson

See all 502 works