James Gleeson centenary
works from the collection
Celebrates 100 years since the birth of Australia’s foremost surrealist painter and poet, James Gleeson (1915-2008)
Drawn from the Gallery’s rich holdings of the artist’s work, this exhibition looks at Gleeson’s remarkable legacy through a selection of paintings, drawings and studies for paintings. It spans his career from the early 1940s to the masterpieces of his later years.
Gleeson’s art explores the human condition beyond visible reality, the senses, reason and the conscious mind. Inspired by writers and artists of the surrealist movement, including Salvador Dali and Max Ernst, Gleeson utilised poetry, dream, mythology and chance elements as material for his work. His late paintings extend his psychological concerns beyond humanism to a cosmic experience of nature in constant evolution.
Gleeson also made an important contribution to the wider Australian art world as a writer, critic, lecturer and curator. In 2005, he established the Gleeson O’Keefe Foundation to assist the Art Gallery of NSW in acquiring important works of Australian art, many of which are also on display elsewhere in the Gallery.
7 Nov 2015 – 17 Jan 2016
Lowy, Gonski Gallery