Robert Dickerson exhibition celebrates extraordinary gift of 40 works

19 Aug 2019

Robert DICKERSON Girl Dancing on the beach (Merewether, Newcastle) 2003 acrylic on canvas 90.0 x 120.0cm Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 2018 Newcastle Art Gallery collection Courtesy the artist’s estate

Opening Saturday 24 August 2019, the exhibition ROBERT DICKERSON: Off the Canvas celebrates a major new donation of 40 works of art by the late Australian artist Robert Dickerson AO (1924-2015).

Comprised of 40 paintings from the period 1995-2011, the new acquisition includes works of art inspired by Newcastle, which will be displayed in the exhibition alongside the Gallery’s existing holdings of works of art by the artist.

Thanks to the generosity of this gift, which came directly from the artist’s family, the total number of works in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection is 93, from 1957–2011.

“Robert Dickerson is an artist who spent a career striving to reflect the tough exteriors and inner beauty of the people he painted,” said Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton.

“With his distinctive angular and often melancholy style, Dickerson is one of Australia's most recognised figurative artists.

“This exhibition celebrates the continued extraordinary generosity of the artist’s family to Newcastle Art Gallery, with our collection now covering more than five decades of his enduring life-long practice.”

The artist’s relationship with Newcastle first began as a teenager when he visited as a member of the Jimmy Sharman Boxing Troupe. 
“Bob would be very happy to know that his work is accessible to the ‘real people’ of Newcastle and to all people in a city that has always carried a genuine, tough, inner beauty that he was keen to replicate in the company he kept,” son of the artist and Director of Dickerson Gallery in Woollarah Sam Dickerson said.

“Newcastle Art Gallery’s collection is truly rare in terms of the oeuvre of Robert Dickerson and now has the single largest collection of Dickerson works. No other collection can boast such a comprehensive catalogue.”

A self-taught painter, Robert Dickerson was born in 1924 and grew up in Sydney during the 1930s Depression era and proceeded to become one of Australia’s most renowned and recognisable artists.

He was a founding member of The Antipodeans art movement in the 1950s, which included fellow famous Australian artists, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh.

Off the Canvas celebrates the legacy of one of Australia's most celebrated artists and this significant gift of 40 new works of art through the generosity of the Dickerson family to the city of Newcastle.
24 August – 13 October 2019
This exhibition is free entry.
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