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James Gleeson, 1995

Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 36.7 cm x 44.8 cm)

James Gleeson AO was Australia's best-known surrealist artist, and from the late 1930s onwards he was a tireless supporter of Australian modern art. Deeply interested in psychology, he wrote poetry and many essays and several books on Australian art. His own art has been the subject of several major exhibitions. As a young boy he lived at Gosford on the New South Wales Central Coast and much of his art work has been inspired by the beach rock pools from his youth, 'full of marvellous shapes' and 'biomorphic forms'. For Gleeson the littoral zone where sea meets land was a powerful metaphor for the interplay of the conscious and unconscious mind and of the fluid nature of existence. Gleeson reflected that 'One of the most important and constantly recurring motifs throughout my work is based on a sense of the mutability of all forms and substances. Metamorphosis has always been, for me, one of the basic facts of life. Everything takes on a form, changes, falls apart and reforms in new organisations in an endless cycle.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2004.102

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 49 in 1995)

James Gleeson (age 80 in 1995)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts


Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

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