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Richard Larter

1929 – 2014

Richard Larter (1929 - 2014) was born in London, where he encountered and was influenced by the new generation of young British Pop artists of the 1950s and early 1960s. After travelling and studying informally in Algiers and North Africa, in 1962 he came to Australia with his wife and children to take up a position as a teacher. Over the 1960s he produced an important body of work exploring social and political themes, often incorporating brightly coloured painted heads of celebrities, sex symbols, dictators, politicians and porn stars in challenging juxtaposition. Seemingly distinct from these works are geometric, ethereal and glittery abstract paintings - indeed for a decade from the 1980s Larter chose only to exhibit abstractions - but elements of these works also fill the backgrounds of the figurative paintings. Working to a rigorous, disciplined routine, Larter has been prolific and his work is held by the National Gallery of Australia and all State Galleries. A major exhibition of his figurative work, Stripperama, was held at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2002, and the National Gallery of Australia presented a comprehensive overview exhibition Richard Larter: a retrospective, with accompanying scholarly catalogue, in late 2008.

Updated 2018