After the Transit

James Gleeson

After the Transit by James Gleeson


James Gleeson
After the Transit
oil on canvas
172 x 230 cm

signed lower left: Gleeson'89

Stock Number

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the artist
private collection, Melbourne


Annual Collectors' Exhibition 2008, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, 1 Oct - 8 Nov 2008, cat. no. 22
Resale Royalty and the Collector, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 11 August 2010 - 18 September 2010
The Big Picture Show, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, 9 Aug - 13 Sept 2014


Annual Collectors' Exhibition 2008, exhibition catalogue, Malakoff Fine Art Press, Melbourne, p.27 (illus)

Further Information

James Gleeson was born in Sydney in 1915 and brought up by his Aunt and Mother. He was three when his father died. Gleeson trained at East Sydney Technical College and then spent time teaching both at primary level and lecturing at Sydney Teachers College. From 1949 to 1972 he was art critic for the Sun and from 1962 for the Sun Herald. Throughout his life Gleeson travelled moderately, visiting Europe, the States, South America, South Pacific and Japan. He spent most of his life in Sydney.

Influenced particularly by artists such as Salvador Dali, Hieronymous Bosch and van Gogh, Gleeson succeeded in becoming Australia's first and foremost surrealist artist. He invites the unconscious to appear seeking fuller self knowledge. Like many of the Surrealists, Gleeson kept paper and pen beside his bed to record his dreams and used various painting techniques including frottage, decalcomania and impasto.

By 1980s the artist had pushed the extreme of the figure so far that to him it had almost become unrecognizable, hence his work became more abstract as he no longer felt the need to use form at all. This resulted in his later works being mainly oil on large canvasses and is particularly pleasing, showing how Gleeson's struggle within eventually matured to a more calm, balanced depiction.

Extract from the Collectors' Exhibition 2017 essay by Ken Wach.


James Gleeson's artworks have been included extensively in public and private collections, not limited to the following: Lapsed Shadows Recycled to a Capable Coast 1988 Art Gallery of New South Wales; The Message Arrives 1995 Art Gallery of South Australia; The Secret Heart of the Headland 1991 National Gallery of Australia; The Darkening Stage 1991 National Gallery of Victoria; The Opening Gate 1989 the Colin and Liz Laverty Collection and The Dance 1989 James Fairfax Collection. Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Bendigo Fine Art Gallery, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Heide Museum of Modern Art, La Trobe University, Macquarie University Art Collection, McClelland Regional Art Gallery, Mertz Collection, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, Rockhampton City Art Collection, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and The University of Sydney Art Collection.


Further information:
James Gleeson Biography
James Gleeson artworks in the stockroom