Arthur Boyd
The Exile of Imagination
Paintings and drawings from
the early 1970's by Arthur Boyd


Arthur Boyd Figure in a cave with a smoking Book 1973 National Gallery of Australia

This is an exhibition about the artistic journey from observation to imagination. It aims to show that the best expressive and imaginative art is not born fully formed but rather requires the artist to dig deep into the subconscious, and have the ability to transpose these imaginary apparitions directly into paint.

Arthur Boyd and the Exile of Imagination follows this journey through Boyd's paintings and drawings completed during his travels and expatriate life, between 1971 and 1973. They show us the artists struggle as he moves from the sufficiency of the natural world (the untrammelled Australian landscape) to the power of the isolated poetic imagination, those things not seen but arising from inwardness. These paintings and drawings are reflections on what feeds the artists imagination, in effect what makes his work art rather than reportage.

The 26 paintings and 15 drawings in the exhibition have been selected from the paintings made by Boyd during the early 1970s.