• Artist
    Michael Shannon
  • Title
  • Date of Production
  • Medium
    oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    122 x 122cm
  • Credit Details
    Private collection

Michael Shannon: Australian Romantic Realist

Saturday, December 10, 2011 - Sunday, February 12, 2012, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Ian Potter Foundation Galleries
Admission: Free

Michael Shannon is one of Australia's most under-regarded major artists from the 1950s to the 1980s. In his heyday, Shannon's distinctive paintings were as avidly collected and frequently displayed as those of his near contemporaries John Brack and Fred Williams. However since his death from Parkinson's disease at the age of 65 in 1993 his work has suffered an eclipse and he has been largely overlooked by critics and the broader public.

Nearly twenty years after his passing, the Art Gallery of Ballarat presents a retrospective of the work of this major artist, giving visitors the opportunity to see works that merit comparison with those of his better known contemporaries.

Shannon was one of the first artists in the post war period to explore the urban landscape, being one of the first to depict the suburban sprawl. His later work, lyrical landscapes of Central Victoria, seem to ignore all the aesthetic debates of the 1970s and 1980s and return to a celebration of the rural hinterlands such as was first undertaken by Australian Impressionists of the late 19th century.

In the early 1950s, the Art Gallery of Ballarat played a special role in the rise of the career of Michael Shannon, twice awarding him the George Crouch Prize, which was at that time the one of the richest contemporary art awards in the nation. Now it takes on the challenge of bringing this important artist back into the public gaze.

After its presentation at the Art Gallery of Ballarat the Michael Shannon retrospective will tour in reduced form to other Australian galleries.

A catalogue containing essays on Shannon by three major figures in Australian art scholarship, Patrick McCaughey, Ronald Millar and Elizabeth Cross, is available from the Gallery Shop.