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Bryan Westwood

1930 – 2000

Bryan Westwood (1930-2000) was a painter and printmaker who twice won the Archibald Prize, for his portrait of artist and critic Elwyn Lynn (1989) and of the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating (1992). Largely self-taught, Westwood did not start painting professionally until his mid thirties and held his first exhibition in 1967. Prior to this he had an eclectic career in economics, advertising and the film industry. His decision to pursue an artistic vocation was prompted by a friendship with Jeffrey Smart and Justin O'Brien, with whom he had some lessons. His work was characterised by a dispassionate scrutiny of objects and a mannerly approach in their portrayal. Like fellow painter and friend, Margaret Olley (who sat for him on a number of occasions) he emphasised craft, conscientiousness and respect for tradition in his practice. His portraiture has been described as photorealist. He was the official artist appointed by the Federal Government to the 75th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in 1990, travelling with the veterans. The resulting paintings and sketches were exhibited at the Australian War Memorial. Westwood's work is represented in State and University collections throughout Australia and in the National Gallery of Australia, as well as in a number of corporate collections. His portraits of Prime Ministers Paul Keating and Malcolm Fraser are currently on loan to the National Portrait Gallery and are on display in Kings Hall.

Updated 2018