Robert Dickerson

Robert Dickerson “Man in a Landscape”
(Dickerson works of this quality and size rarely come on the market and could easily realise double this price with one of the major auction houses)

The late Robert Dickerson, one of Australia’s leading figurative artists, was also one of the Antipodeans (Brack, Boyd, Perceval et all) who changed the direction of Australian Art.

His work is instantly recognisable.  With a simple brush stroke or pastel line Dickerson created intense emotion in the expressions of his subjects – sophisticated art that engages the viewer in conversation.  Everyday life and the universal themes of loneliness, vulnerability and isolation were Dickerson’s inspiration.

Biography

One of Australia’s leading figurative artists, Robert Dickerson was also one of the Antipodeans (Boyd, Perceval, Dickerson et al), who changed the direction of Australian art in 1959.  His ‘Geisha Studies’ are regarded as his best work and are incomparable in Australian art history.

After selling his first painting to the National Gallery of Victoria in 1956 Dickerson became established as a major force on the national art scene and his work is instantly recognisable.  With a simple brush stroke or pastel line he created intense emotion in the expressions of his subjects, a sophisticated art that engages the viewer in conversation.  His art has been described as high-contrast chiaroscuro in a variety of mediums including paint, pastel and charcoals.

Everyday life and the universal themes of loneliness, vulnerability and isolation were his inspiration.  Lone characters with long noses and whimsical, often averted eyes, no two Dickerson's are alike – lovers are lost in their own world, solitary figures brood and small groups interact.  He painted "real" subjects of people in the working world: the grim judge, the hopeful jockey, the wistful gaze of the ballerina or the loving stare of the mother with child cradled in her arms are just some of the subjects.  The lonely figure in the empty street, the woman caressing a cat and the oriental beauty poised in a theatrical pose are images from everyday life across cultures.

There is a mystery or an unfinished tale in every Dickerson work. Long after you've left the image behind the expressions haunt you.  What is she thinking?  The blank planes of the faces he paints offer themselves for interpretation like theatre masks.  What lies behind those vivid eyes? Behind every face is a soul and a Dickerson work creates questions and demands answers.

Dickerson's first exhibition was at the Museum of Modem Art, Melbourne in 1956 and was subsequently followed by many solo exhibitions at leading galleries in all states around Australia. His work has been represented in overseas exhibitions and galleries including the Whitechapel, Tate, Qantas and England & Co Galleries in London, The Australian Painters Mertz Collection Corcoran Gallery Washington D.C. USA, Koepelkirker, Amsterdam and is held in numerous galleries, museums and corporate and private art collections around the world.

Inspired by artists such as Manet, Degas, Picasso, Monet, Daumier and Goya, Dickerson joins the list of artists whose impact on the society of their day ensures that they are written into the art history books for all time.

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