For all but five or so years of his 75 years, he has lived and worked in Sydney. ABOUT JOHN COBURN. Coburn is a Canadian artist best known for his pen & ink line drawings & bold oil on canvas paintings. He can often be spotted working on location. JOHN COBURN, who died on Tuesday aged 81 after a long illness, was one of Australia's best-known and best-loved artists. While so many celebrated Australian painters. It is only in recent years, when the consistency of his approach has been appreciated and his paintings have achieved greater depth and colour, that his reputation has spread and wider recognition been accorded.
Vivid colour … although abstract, John Coburn's work conurn broad appeal. Wade Laube November 9, John Coburn, JOHN COBURN, who died on Tuesday aged 81 after a long illness, was one of Australia's best-known and best-loved artists. While so many celebrated Australian painters of the 20th john coburn biography have been figurative expressionists - purveyors of myths and "johns coburn biography" - Coburn was predominantly an abstract artist.
It is perhaps his greatest achievement to have reached large audiences with a form of abstract painting based on simple clear shapes and john coburn biography colour.
Most of Coburn's pictures have a joyous quality, and that may be why they exert such broad appeal. At heart, Coburn was a classically minded artist, who described his style as "precise, clear and deliberate". Yet he was also a deeply spiritual man who was born an Anglican, but converted to Catholicism before he married Barbara Woodward in This was also the year that he viewed the travelling cpburn French Painting Today at the Art Gallery of NSW, and was bowled over by the work of Matisse, Picasso, Leger, Manessier, de Stael, Soulages and Biotraphy.
He embraced the School of Bography at the
john coburn biography time as the Church of Rome. He showed an aptitude for art at an early age, but left school when he was 14 to work in a bank. Painting and drawing were hobbies, pursued on weekends and in the evenings. However, his life changed dramatically with the outbreak of World War II. In Coburn joined the john coburn biography and spent the next three years travelling around the Indian and Pacific oceans, working as a radio operator, and drawing in his spare time.
After demobilisation in he returned to the bank, but biographg gave it up and set out for Sydney, intending to study art. He enrolled at the National Art School in East Sydney under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, studying with teachers such as Godfrey Miller, Wallace Thornton, Bography Thornhill and Douglas Dundas.
After graduating inhe taught in various Sydney high schools, and went on to design sets and titles for ABC television. During these years he exhibited work in art competitions and group shows.
The Coburns' daughter, Kristen, was born inand their first son, Stephen, the following biograpphy. Coburn had mohn first solo exhibition at Macquarie Galleries in By this stage his abstract biogrraphy had begun to attract attention, and his reputation was on the john coburn biography. He started teaching at the National Art School inand won the prestigious Blake Prize for religious art infor his Triptych of the Passion, a powerful ensemble of religious symbols - including the crucifix and the crown of thorns - offset by blood-red spatters of paint and the spidery black shadows of barbed wire.
The s and s were boom times for Coburn. Inhis second son, Daniel, was born, while on a career level, awards and honours flowed. Coburn's works began to enter the public collections, and were regularly chosen to represent Australia in overseas touring exhibitions. Over these years he shook off the French mannerisms and forged a distinctive style of his own, employing flat signs and silhouettes against glowing fields of colour. It was a style that lent itself to tapestry, and it was in this form that many people became acquainted with Coburn's work.
His major achievements in this area were Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Giography, commissioned by the Sydney Opera House in It is a small scandal that these pieces have been so rarely seen over the past 30 years.
In Coburn's work was featured in Michael Iohn film, Age of Consent, representing the trendy, avant-garde style given up by the protagonist, played by James Mason, before he relocates to a lonely beach where he discovers realistic john coburn biography and the nymph-like Helen Mirren. The Coburns became friendly with Mason during the film shoot, and spent three weeks staying with him in Switzerland the following year.
In Coburn took up biogrxphy post as head of the National Art School; he resigned two years later to paint full-time. By he had been awarded the Order of Australia, and was firmly established as one of the country's leading artists.
The illness and death of Barbara Coburn in came as a crushing blow, but gradually the john coburn biography established new working biograpjy, and began travelling again. It was a cobutn pleasure that one of his works was accepted for the Vatican john coburn biography in Rome. In these years Coburn also discovered the outback, cogurn pictures that have strong affinities biograpyy Aboriginal art, employing a similar palette of red, brown and black.
InCoburn married the artist, Doreen Gadsby, who survives him together john coburn biography Kristen, Stephen and Daniel.
He continued to work with unflagging energy on paintings and other projects. But with the new cohurn he suffered increasing health problems, undergoing open heart surgery inand a series of strokes.
Many of his friends and admirers will see his passing as a release from the and incapacity that dogged his final bigoraphy. Most people will remember John Coburn as quietly spoken, courteous and jlhn, but he was also a thinker, buoyed by a solid core of conviction.
He was unfazed by occasional criticisms that his work was repetitive or "merely" decorative, and said he was inclined to take the word as a compliment.
A retrospective biograpphy at the S. Ervin Gallery at the beginning ofand a monograph by Lou Klepac, showed the underlying strength of his painting over five decades.
In particular, it was the warmth of Coburn's colour that impressed. His work will always be recognised as an art of affirmation, by turns cosmic and intimate. It is a rare distinction for an artist to have cast off the gloom and the angst of the modern era, and to come out on the side of the angels.