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Harold Thornton, 1977 (printed 2018)

Gary Ede

inkjet print (sheet: 42.9 cm x 29.7 cm, image: 39.0 cm x 25.8 cm)

The life of eccentric Sydney artist Harry 'The Kangaroo' Thornton is yet to be thoroughly researched. He was born in Griffith, NSW, and worked in various jobs before deciding, in the late 1950s, to become an artist. He had little if any formal training; his work shows the influences of his times. Nonetheless, he was an Archibald finalist five times between 1946 and 1983, his subjects including Roy Rene (1948) and Al Grassby (1982). With his long white hair, fringed outfits and gaudy hand-painted vehicle he was a common sight around art events in Sydney during the 1970s and 1980s. Despite his visibility, his few solo shows did not do well. Discouraged by Australia and recalling the good times he had in Amsterdam during the seventies, Thornton removed himself and all his works to the Netherlands in the early nineties. He died in Sydney, having returned, leaving an estate of approximately 200 paintings.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

Accession number: 2018.111

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Gary Ede (age 31 in 1977)

Harold Thornton (age 62 in 1977)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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