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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.

"The determined" Self_portrait, 2002

George Foxhill

oil and resin on canvas (sheet: 170.0 cm x 120.0 cm)
Image not available (NC)

George Foxhill studied art in his native Austria, attending the Kunstegewerbeschule and the Volkshochschule in Salzburg after the Second World War. He responded to the expressionist legacy of the city and the hardship and rude vigour of the times, and his lifetime’s work evidences affinities with Austrian expressionists such as Oskar Kokoshka whom he met in his youth. With his wife Rosa, Foxhill migrated to Australia in 1956. Two years later, the couple moved into the raw, newly established suburb of Dickson, now an inner-city area of Canberra. Foxhill’s strength of purpose and belief in himself carried him through years of cultural aridity in the Australian Capital Territory, in which he was one of very few serious expressionist painters. Finally, in the 1980s, the power of his portraits describing emotional and psychological states recognition began to be recognised. The National Portrait Gallery held an exhibition of Foxhill’s work, curated by Michael Desmond, in the last year of the artist’s life. Foxhill said ‘A painter paints not because he wants to represent what he sees and is competent to do so, but because the visible world stimulates him to satisfy his deep urge to shape his understanding of life and nature.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2007

Accession number: 2007.38

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Foxhill (age 81 in 2002)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004

Tender tragedies

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

George Foxhill's self portraits were the subject of a small focus display at the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004
Self Portrait with fruit, 2004

George Foxhill

Self Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2006

Foxhill's portraits are more concerned with describing an emotional and psychological state than the surface topography of the human face.

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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.