William Mora Galleries

John Anderson Selection

1999, oil on linen, 123 x 128.5cm

1999, oil on linen, 130 x 102cm

1999, oil on canvas, 135 x 188cm

2000, oil on canvas, 150 x 130cm

2000, oil on canvas, 122 x 122cm

2000, oil on canvas, 170 x 188cm

2000, oil on linen, 55 x 135cm

Biography and Qualifications

Born Melbourne, 1947
Currently lives and works at Cape Schank, Victoria

Diploma in Fine Art (Painting), RMIT, 1969
Lecturer in painting at Chisholm Institute

Description of work

John Anderson has described his project as the search for a personal pictorial language able to carry an elusive, open-ended narrative within a spatially flexible structure. This narrative elusiveness (or equally, mysteriousness and inexplicableness) is most often commented upon in his work. His characters are frozen in the midst of compelling dramas, nocturnal power plays and illicit assignations, unknown in origin and uncertain of outcome.

Anderson's technique echoes the apparently random encounters of the sensual, self-absorbed figures in his work. He works in a searching, intuitive manner, with little preparatory drawing, building up form through contrasts of light and dark, in much the same manner as the Baroque old masters' reliance on chiaroscuro. Indeed, the moral ambiguity invoked by the emergence of the chiaroscuro painting style is exploited by Anderson, whose attitude towards the seamy encounters of his characters is never moralistic. Images of the turbulent sea, and shadowy bush settings, show that the natural world can be equally dramatic and mysterious as the actions of his decadent characters.


Anderson has held around twenty solo exhibitions since 1972, including ten with William Mora Galleries. Other exhibitions include:


Artbank, Sydney; Monash University Collection, Melbourne; Deakin University Art Collection, Melbourne; Smorgon Collection, Melbourne; Savoy Plaza Hotel, Melbourne; Western Mining Collection; Gadens Solicitors, Melbourne; Applied International, Melbourne; The Negroni Commission; BHP Collection; Macquarie Bank, Sydney; Yarra

Selected bibliography

McCULLOCH, Susan, State of the Art, Issue 11, Dec-Mar 1994-95

MOSS, Rod, "Nightmoves: John Anderson", OzArts Magazine, Issue 7, 1993, pp 34-7

MOSS, Rod, "John Anderson: The Figurative Tradition", The Walking Dream, ex cat, Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, Melbourne, 1993

NELSON, Robert, "The purity of getting your hands dirty", The Sunday Age, 1/10/00

NELSON, Robert, "Dark and classic painter", The Age, 13/9/95


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Phone: +61 3 9429 1199


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