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ARTHUR BOYD      Australia  1920-1999     "The Prodigal Son" Suite

arthur boyd

Arthur Boyd was born in 1920 in Murrumbeena, Melbourne, into a family of artists and painted with his famous grandfather, Arthur Merric Boyd, He became part of the Australian art scene during the 'Angry Decade' of 1937-47, so called for its focus on the agonies of war that dominated the period. His social consciousness infused his life and work. Through paintings, prints and ceramics, one of Australia's greatest artists dealt with the social responsibility that defines humanity and reflected the effects of human suffering, social inequities and corporate greed onto the ethical questions of existence. Although Boyd was often provoked to protest, attending peace meetings and anti-nuclear marches in Australia and England and taking direct action on issues of environmental destruction, his political fears were largely played out in his artworks. His principle theme was the divine frenzy of love. Boyd maintained homes in Britain and Australia, working and exhibiting in both countries and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia 1979 and a Commander of the Order of Australia 1992. His work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, most state galleries and regional galleries and has in its own way scratched the Australian conscience, combining both compassion, fragility and human accountability. The “Prodigal Son” series of hard and soft ground etchings connects Boyd’s empathy with his creative recognition of the universal moral and social dilemmas in which humankind is implicated.