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John Perceval
, 1985

by Rick Amor

black conte on paper (sheet: 37.5 cm x 26.5 cm)

John Perceval (1923-2000) was a painter and ceramic artist. Early on, along with Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker, he was part of a loose group of largely self-taught Australian artists who rebelled against the conservatism of the 1940s art establishment. By the mid-1940s Perceval had moved on to Victoria, where he worked as a potter and sculptor with the Boyd family at Murrumbeena. He married the painter Mary Boyd, younger sister of Arthur, and three of their four children became painters. Joint winner of the Wynne Prize for landscape art in 1960, Perceval remains known as one of the best Australian landscape painters of the 1950s and 1960s. His ceramic work from the same period includes a celebrated series of 'angels'. In the 1980s his long-term alcoholism saw Perceval consigned to a psychiatric hospital. Amor was one of a group of artist friends who would take him out on plein-air painting excursions.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2005.15