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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Lloyd Rees at the Rock in 1975, 1984

Roderick Shaw

oil and oil pastel on canvas (frame: 158.6 cm x 125.9 cm)

Lloyd Rees AC CMG (1895-1988) was one of Australia's most celebrated landscape painters. The Brisbane-born artist developed his technique with pen and ink drawings of the city before moving to Sydney in 1917 to work in a commercial art studio. In the early 1930s he concentrated solely on drawing, particularly the rocky landscapes around Sydney, but by the late 1930s he began painting in an increasingly romantic manner. He remained actively painting and drawing until his death in Hobart at the age of 93. Rees taught art history at the University of Sydney for a number of years, and was a favourite with students. Rod Shaw knew and admired Rees and has depicted him here in heroic guise. The work refers to Rees's trip to Central Australia in the mid-1970s, which resulted in his masterly series of paintings of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

Roderick Shaw studied art at East Sydney Technical College, and worked during the war at the Commonwealth Aircraft factory, painting camouflage alongside William Dobell and Joshua Smith. After the war he worked as a designer and illustrator, and was also a printer of quality books, producing volumes of poems by A.D. Hope and David Campbell, among others. Shaw and Dick Edwards together established The Barn on the Hill press in 1939. They were later instrumental in ending the censorship of four letter words in Australia by publishing the banned report of the trial of Penguin books over Lady Chatterley's Lover. Shaw designed the mural for the Waterside Workers' Federation Office, and has become best known for his worker paintings of the social realist school, such as Cable Layers, owned by the Art Gallery of NSW. For many years he taught at workshops and summer schools, and he was a foundation member of Artists for Democracy and of Artists Against Nuclear War.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001
© Estate of Roderick Shaw

Accession number: 2001.179

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Roderick Shaw (age 69 in 1984)

Lloyd Rees AC CMG (age 89 in 1984)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.