Are There Any Famous Australian Artists?

Are there any famous Australian artists?

Before I delve into who the famous Australian artists are let's breifly consider where our Australian artists came from.

There have been many past Australian artists. Some were artists who were born in Australia. Others were artists that migrated here, while other Australian artists were Indigenous. My research found well over forty famous Australian artists that have passed away.

Australian Artists - Sidney Nolan

sidney nolan

Sidney Nolan lived from 1917 till 1992. His work is very diverse and he is most famously known for his paintings of an Australian icon, Ned Kelly. He produced a huge amount of modern art in his lifetime. Sidney Nolan was also responsible for the creation of the stage backdrops for at least two ballets of his time, Icare and The Display.

Australian Artists - Arthur Streeton

australian artists

Arthur Streeton lived from 1867 till 1943. His art was mainly landscapes while he was also known for impressionism. Streeton was also a war artist. He was a very able artist who decided not to show the graphic battle scenes that were expected of him. Rather than do this he painted what could be described as still lifes of war, that is scenes of life in the war. The Art Gallery Of New South Wales has two of his artworks from this time in his life.

Australian Artists - Albert (Elea) Namatjira

Public Domain,

Albert Namatjira was an aboriginal artist who's life spanned the years 1902 to 1959. A true pioneer of contemporary indigenous art, Albert Namatjira is regarded as the first prominent Aboriginal artist and also the first Aboriginal to be freed from the restrictions that made Aboriginals wards of the state in the Northern Territory. He held sold out exhibitions in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. He had a great love of trees and did not just paint them, he painted portraits of them. Although he became wealthy, he was living in poverty as he had to support an extended family in the hundreds.

Australian Artists - Grace Cossington-Smith

By Unknown - National Gallery of Australia, Public Domain,

Grace Cossington-Smith was an Australian modernist artist living from 1892 to 1984. She had exhibitions in the Royal Art Society of New South Wales and also in the Society of Artists. Not a great deal is known about her other than that she is famous for the use of sunlight with fabulous vibrant patterns of colour while adding the cooler colours of shade, imbuing her work with great kineticism.

Australian Artists - Frederick (Fred) Williams

Sadly, unable to find images that were suitable for internet use. So this from one of our artists, Susan Taylor.

canvas prints for sale

Fred Williams has been touted as one the most valuable and important of Australia's artists. He held over seventy exhibitions in Australia and also exhibited in New York's Museum Of Modern Art. He was also a printmaker having travelled to London to learn etching and printing. Having lived in Europe for a time Williams' art was influenced by the experience. He found new ways to express the relationship between his foregrounds and backgrounds in a basically flat Australian landscape.

I hope you enjoyed this short review, check back for more later.