Arthur Boyd

(1920—1999) artist

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(b Murrumbeena, nr. Melbourne, 24 July 1920; d Melbourne, 24 Apr. 1999).

Australian painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, and ceramicist, the best-known member of a dynasty of artists. His father was a sculptor and potter, his mother a painter, but he was largely self-taught as an artist. After holding his first one-man show at the age of 17, his artistic career was interrupted by the Second World War. In the 1950s he became well known in Australia, particularly for his large ceramic totem pole at the entrance to the Olympic Pool, Melbourne (for the 1956 Olympic Games) and for his series (twenty pictures) Love, Marriage and Death of a Half-Caste (1957–9) concerned with the life and death of an aboriginal stockman and his half-caste bride. They are done in a style combining elements of Expressionism and Surrealism. Boyd moved to England in 1959 and soon established a reputation, which he subsequently consolidated, becoming probably the best-known Australian artist of his generation apart from Sidney Nolan (his brother-in-law). He returned to Australia in 1971 but continued to spend a good deal of time in England and also in Italy.

Subjects: Art — Literature.

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