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Adam Cullen

1965 – 2012

Adam Cullen (1965-2012), painter, studied art in Sydney from 1986 to 1999, when he obtained his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of New South Wales. He held his first solo exhibition in 1993, and exhibited annually from then until his death. Commonly working in house paints, he specialised in repulsively and brutally amusing depictions of bestial men, flabby, bleeding women and dismembered animals, managing simultaneously to appear to sneer at, and identify unflinchingly with, the human condition. Thirteen times an Archibald finalist between 1997 and 2012, he won the Prize for his Portrait of David Wenham, painted in ‘three or four hours’ in 2000. In 2002 he represented Australia at the Sao Paulo Biennale, conjured up the book Hooky the Cripple with his friend Mark ‘Chopper’ Read and was highly commended in the Doug Moran Prize. His works are held by the Australian National Gallery and the State galleries of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. The National Portrait Gallery has his painting of stage and opera director Neil Armfield.

Updated 2018