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date: 20 November 2019

Perceval, John (de Burgh)locked

(b Melbourne, Feb 1, 1923; d Melbourne, Oct 15, 2000).
  • Traudi Allen

Extract

(de Burgh)

(b Melbourne, Feb 1, 1923; d Melbourne, Oct 15, 2000).

Australian painter and potter. Perceval is best known as one of the Melbourne Angry Penguins, a group of artists who brought radical innovations of style and subject-matter to Australian painting in the 1940s. He first exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne in 1942 at the age of 19 and was praised by its then president, John Reed, in the art magazine Angry Penguins the following year. Along with his colleagues he established a new emphasis on the urban landscape, often at night (e.g. Negroes at Night, 1944; Canberra, Australian N.G.) via a highly expressive treatment of mythological, allegorical, and/or Old Master references in a local setting.

After meeting Arthur Boyd in 1941, he joined his household at Murrumbeena (then an outer hamlet of Melbourne), marrying Boyd’s sister, Mary, with whom he had four children. Perceval’s next phase included sombre-toned religious studies after Bruegel and a series of Quattrocento-inspired portraits begun while studying at the National Gallery School in Melbourne in ...

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