An image of Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances

James Gleeson

(Australia 21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008)

Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances

Not on display
Further information

"When you make collages - and I did quite a few quite early in the piece - you bring together random elements. However, you do make a judgement on an aesthetic level as to whether they work or not. It doesn't matter whether they're related in a rational way or not, but they must work together aesthetically."
- James Gleeson 1993

Gleeson began making a large number of collages at a period when he was unable to paint consistently, due to commitments as an advisor to the National Gallery of Australia. They are complex juxtapositions of drawn and collaged elements; ink is applied to the paper in a number of ways - for example, with a brush onto dampened paper which is then pressed on a textured surface, leaving a ghostly impression, or using the technique of frottage, where the paper is rubbed with a crayon or wax, allowing a texture underneath to be superimposed on the image.

'Two hippocritters in tumultuous circumstances' is from one of his most important series of collages, the 'Locus-Solus' suite, derived from a surrealist novel by Raymond Roussel, also the name of a work conceived jointly by Gleeson and Robert Klippel between 1972 and 1978.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Drawing, Collage
synthetic polymer paint, photocopy collage, brush and ink, wash, frottage on paper
102.5 x 69.0 cm sheet; 129.7 x 94.3 x 3.7 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r.corner black ink, "Gleeson '78".

Purchased 1987
Accession number
© Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation