Woman with Suspended Skull

James Gleeson

Woman with Suspended Skull by James Gleeson


James Gleeson
Woman with Suspended Skull
oil on canvas board
48 x 41.5 cm

signed upper left: J.Gleeson

Stock Number

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19th & 20th Century Australian Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art , Melbourne, 1997, cat.58
Australian Modern: Arte Australiana Moderna e Contemporanea e Arte Aborigena, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, 23 April - 24 May, 2002
Resale Royalty and the Collector, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 11 August 2010 - 18 September 2010
The Pursuit of Form: selected works from the 20th Century, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, 14 Sept - 19 Oct 2013
Romancing the Skull, Art Gallery Ballarat, 13 October 2017 - 28 January 2018
Aspects of Australian Modernism, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, 20 Sept - 10 Nov 2018


Australian Modern: Arte Australiana Moderna e Contemporanea e Arte Aborigena, exhibition catalogue, Malakoff Fine Art Press, Melbourne, 2002, illus. p.14

Further Information

In Gleeson’s view we all should live in a state of dreaming wakefulness. Humans, those inveterate dreamers, imagine then create - ask Einstein, Brain Cox or Leonardo. To these and other luminaries one thing remains clear: reality points out what is; imagination outlines what might be. In any creative journey wonder is imagination’s first step.

Gleeson began to think along these expansive lines in 1938 very soon after he developed his life-long involvement with the subjectivist art and complex theory of Surrealism. In short, Surrealism believed in recuperating the true and creatively free powers of the subjective imagination by relaxing the hold of Realism, imitation, practical necessity and utilitarian thinking. For Surrealists such as Gleeson, original thought, creativity, imagination and artistic visualisation should always slip through the bars of any rationalist prison.

This is an 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