PAST Exhibition


michael Leunig

Recent, Rare and Classic Works on Paper

21 October – 4 November 2017

Michael Leunig - Opening night talk.
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This exhibition of Recent, Rare and Classic Works on Paper by Michael Leunig includes original drawings, paintings and etchings. Michael will talk about his art and philosophies on opening night 5-7pm Saturday 21 October, with copies of his new book Ducks for Dark Times also available at the event.

Gallery director Robert Avitabile says this is a rare exhibition for any gallery and he is proud to be able to bring Leunig and his work to Geelong. Like other Australians I’ve grown up with Leunig’s work in the media since the early 70’s. I still have his first book ‘The Penguin Leunig’ among many others and I believe his straightforward outlook on life and nature has helped shape the way many people view the world. 

Michael Leunig describes his approach as regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian - producing work that is open to many interpretations and has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life.

As a cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet Leunig’s commentary on political, cultural and emotional life spans fifty years and has often explored the idea of an innocent and sacred personal world. The fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world is a related and recurrent theme. As Michael says: It is a way of painting. It is a way of living and seeing. It is a heartfelt way of transcending the banal inhibited self and finding the primal, the light-hearted, the simple and the divine. It is a struggling and playful downward journey - this daring and devout pilgrimage to mature innocence and raw beauty: to the sublime joy and natural wisdom of the holy fool.

In 1999 Leunig was declared a national living treasure by the National Trust and awarded honorary degrees from La Trobe and Griffith universities and the Australian Catholic University for his unique contribution to Australian culture. His work appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. His prints, paintings and drawings have been exhibited broadly and are held in various public and private collections.

The provenance of all works in this exhibition is directly from Michael Leunig's studio.