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JAMES GLEESON     Australia 1915 - 2008    "Judgement of Paris"

At his death at the age of 93, Gleeson was Australia’s oldest old master; Jeffrey Smart was 88, and John Olsen, a youthful 82. Over a career that has spanned half a century, Gleeson dedicated himself to the exploration of subconscious imagery that defined his oeuvre, and in so doing became Australia’s leading Surrealist artist. Excelling as a lecturer, art critic and historian Gleeson was described as a genuine Renaissance man, whose talents extended well beyond the canvas. Sublime would be a word best suited to describe Gleeson’s work, as it transcended time and place, underscored beauty with terror, and aspired to the highest spiritual values . His Surreal landscapes, once dubbed ‘psychoscapes’, were executed with technical excellence and innate sense of draughtsmanship.  In 2005 Gleeson was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, Beyond the Screen of Sight , at the National Gallery of Victoria. From 1950 to 1992 he was featured in over 35 solo exhibitions and numerous publications. He also authored such books as William Dobell, London 1964 and Robert Klippel - Sculpture and Drawings. Gleeson’s work is held in numerous public and private collections such as Mertz Collection, USA; National Collection, Canberra and all State Galleries

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