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— Biography of James Gleeson

Born in 1915, Gleeson began painting in the 1930s in the surrealist style, further informed by a visit to Europe after the Second World War and by 1940 he was probably the leading surrealist in Australia.  From the late 50s - 70s his career as an art critic, an author of monographs and a curator at the National Gallery of Australia took root, as did his highly respected scholarly reputation.  These were also the years he produced his well-known series of Psychoscapes; miniature surreal landscapes sparingly populated with classical homo-erotic nudes.  In the early 80s, at the age of 65, he retired from his various official positions and returned to the studio to produce the monumental, high key, biomorphic, surreal and abstract paintings for which he is best known. 
In 2004 a major retrospective exhibition was held at the National Gallery of Victoria & National Gallery of Australia.  At 90, he stopped painting works of monumental size, and died in 2008. 


Major Publications:
Lou Klepac, James Gleeson - Landscape out of Nature, Beagle Press, 1987
James Gleeson (Ed. Lou Klepac), Signals from the Perimeter: James Gleeson drawings and texts (works from the Agapitos/Wilson Collection), Beagle Press, 1993 (reprinted 2007)
Renee Free, James Gleeson: Images from the Shadows, Crafstman House, 1993
Klepac, Wach, et al, James Gleeson - Beyond the Screen of Sight, retrospective exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Victoria, Beagle Press, 2004

James Gleeson CV

AGNSW Australian Collection Focus James Gleeson and Robert Klippel Madame Sophie..

Andrew Frost James Gleeson Convulsive Beauty Art Collector Oct Dec 2001 p 86 88

James Gleeson 2005 exhibition essay by Charles Nodrum

James Gleeson Paintings from the last decade NGV 9 Sept 3 Oct 1994

James Gleeson The Sea 2003 Exhibition Essay by Charles Nodrum2

John Conomos James Gleeson between dreams eros earth sea and sky Artist Profile Magazine issue 57 2021 pp 152 155

McGrath Sandra James Gleeson Art and Australia Vol 5 No 3 1967 pp 518 523

Smith Geoffrey James Gleeson Art and Australia Vol 40 No 4 2003 pp 626 33

Uncertain Times Benalla Art Gallery 2008 exhibition essay by Simon Klose

Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.