10 - 27 October 2019

Arthur Boyd

(1920 – 1999)


Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) is one of Australia’s most significant artists with an impressive, original talent and creative output, influenced mainly by studies with his family and a close association with his grandfather, Arthur Merric, while living with him from 1936-38 on the Mornington Peninsula.

The outbreak of WW11 impacted heavily on this early period of artistic growth - a short stay in military hospital ended an unhappy time in the army but resulted in an important series of psychological works that reflected his suffering during the war.

After marrying Yvonne Lennie in 1945 the couple lived at Murrumbeena where Boyd worked in ceramics and painting. In 1959 the Boyd family moved to London and a 1960 exhibition of his Bride series was soon followed by representation in Whitechapel and Tate Gallery exhibitions in the early 1960s. He produced many lithographs and etchings in this time, returning to Australia in 1971 as artist in residence at the ANU and gifting several thousand works to the NGA.

In 1993 he and Yvonne purchased Riverdale at Shoalhaven on the south coast of NSW, then later the nearby Bundanon. While it was regular trips back to the United Kingdom and Tuscany that remained a constant in Arthur’s life, it was the Shoalhaven that he painted almost exclusively from the 1980s until his last works in 1999. The Shoalhaven also features in several of Jamie’s fine lithographs.

Together with Arthur Boyd’s Shoalhaven landscapes and other trademark drawings and prints there is a strong series of large brush and ink drawings from the early 1960s. The exhibition includes several works that reflect his collaboration in the theatre and with writers, producing drawings and costume designs for Robert Helpmann’s 1963 ballet Elektra at Covent Garden, as well as a series of lithographs to illustrate Pushkin’s fairy tales in 1978.