Robert Dickerson Australian, 1924-2015


Robert Dickerson was a self-taught artist who was part of the Antipodeans. A group of artists who came together in 1959 and stressed the importance of figurative painting over abstract expressionism. Themes of loneliness, vulnerability and isolation are common throughout his work and characters with long noses and averted eyes are motifs that are often revisited.


Dickerson was a child of the Great Depression which in turn forced him to leave school and take up work in a factory when he was only 14. In addition to this, he also picked up boxing as a hobby and turned professional at 16. When he was around 18 he joined the Royal Australian Air Force and spent time in Darwin and South East Asia during the Second World War, where he made drawings in his down time.  He turned to painting in 1947 but remained working in menial jobs for many years until his mid thirties, when he finally became a full-time artist. This came about because in 1957 he won 100 pounds for a fridge decorating competition which allowed him to buy more art materials and experiment with different techniques.


Dickerson continued to paint and exhibit regularly for the next five decades before his death in Nowra, on the New South Wales south coast, in 2015


B: Hurstville, Sydney 1924 D: 2015

Solo Exhibitions

1997, 99, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012 Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney 
2011 Shoalhaven City Regional Gallery 
1998, 99, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011 Stafford Studios, Western Australia 
2001, 04, 06, 08, 10 Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne 
2009 Recent works, ACGA Gallery at Federation Square 
2001, 04, 05, 06 (Pastels, prints and drawings) Dickerson Gallery, Sydney 
2002 -04 Chiaroscuro, touring exhibition to Nolan Gallery, Tharwa, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Toowoomba  
Regional Art Gallery, Horsham Art Gallery, Grafton Regional Art Gallery, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre 2003 The Complete Graphics Newcastle Region Art Museum, Newcastle, NSW 
1996, 2002, 03 Kensington Gallery, Adelaide 
1976, 77, 92, 96, 99, 2000, 02 Philip Bacon, Brisbane 
1985, 89, 91, 98, 2001 Art Gallery Schubert, Queensland 
2000 Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Melbourne Art Fair 
1986, 1998, 2000 Greythorn Gallery, Victoria 
1994 Kenthurst Gallery, NSW 
1993 Caulfield Arts Complex (with Andrew Ivanyi) Bell Gallery, Berrima, NSW 
1992 Noosa Regional Gallery 
        Gallery 406, Gosford, NSW 
1991 England & Co Gallery, London 
1987 Greenhill Gallery, Perth 
        Melbourne Art Exchange 
1984 Holdsworth Gallery (Tokyo Show) 
1983 Masterpiece Gallery, Hobart 
        Anvil Gallery, Wodonga, Victoria 
1981 Forbes Town Hall, NSW 
        Georges Gallery, Melbourne 
1980 Avenel Bee Gallery, Adelaide 
1979 Adelaide Fine Arts & Graphics 
1977 De Keopelkirker, Amsterdam 
1976 Graphics Gallery, Manuka ACT 
1974, 83, 87 Greenhill Gallery, Adelaide 
Grand Central Gallery, Brisbane 
1973, 76 Andrew Ivanyi Gallery, Melbourne 
1973 Qantas Gallery, London 
1973, 75, 78, 83, 86, 88, 90, 93, 95 Holdsworth Gallery, Sydney 
1972, 74, 77 Lister Gallery, Perth 
1972 Bakehouse Gallery, Mackay 
        John Cooper Gallery, Queensland 
1970 John Gild Gallery, Perth 
        Adelaide Festival Exhibition 
        Leveson Street Gallery, Melbourne 
1968 Australian Galleries, Melbourne 
        Hungry Horse Gallery, Sydney 
1964, 65 Kym Bonython Gallery, Brisbane 
1964, 67, 69, 71, 73 Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane 
1962, 66, 67, 70, 82 Von Bertouch Gallery, Newcastle 
1962, 63 Clune Gallery, Sydney 
1962, 69, 81 Barry Stern Gallery, Sydney 
1960, 61 Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney 
1959, 67 Farmers Blaxland Gallery, Sydney 
1956, 58 Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

 Awards & Prizes

2002 Artist in Residence, Moonee Valley Race Club VIC 
1990 DDB Needham Inaugural Art Prize 
1975 Gold Coast Art Prize 
1966 Mirror-Waratah (shared Grand Prize) 
1965 RAS Easter Show, Human Image Prize 
1959 Tumut Prize 
1958 Blake Prize (second place) 
1954 Clint Prize


Works in most regional gallery collections and important corporate collections in Australia including: National Gallery of Australia 
Art Gallery of New South Wales 
National Gallery of Victoria 
Queensland Art Gallery 
Art Gallery of South Australia 
Art Gallery of Western Australia 
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne 
Newcastle Region Art Museum 
Australian National University 
University of Melbourne 
University of Western Australia 
University of Sydney 



2002 Powell, L.; "Robert Dickerson - The Complete Graphics" Queen Street Fine Art, Sydney 
1995 Dickerson, J.; "Robert Dickerson - Against the Tide"; Pandanus Press (reprinted 2004, Publisher: Queen Street Fine Art) 
1995 Heathcote, Christopher; "A Quiet Revolution - The rise of Australian Art, 1946-1968"; Text Publishing Company; Melbourne 
1973 Burton, B. &Splatt, W.; "100 Masterpieces of Australian Painting"; Rigby Catalano, G.; "The Years of Hope, Australian Art and Criticism 1959-1968"; OUP 
1978 "City Art"; Heinemann Educational Australia Pty Ltd 
1971 Gleeson, J.; "Modern Painters 1931-70"; Lansdowne Press 
1981 Haese, R.; "Rebels and Precursors: The Revolutionary Years of Australian Art"; Allen Lane Ringwood 1970 Hughes, R.; "The Art of Australia"; Penguin; Hammondsworth 
1958 Luck, R.K.; "A Guide to Modern Australian Paintings"; Sun Books; Melbourne 
1958 "Modern Australian Art"; Museum of Modern Art; Melbourne 
1974 Smith, B.; "Australian Painting 1799 - 1970"; Oxford University Press 
1976 Thomas, L.; "The Most Noble Art of Them All"; University of Queensland Press 
1971 "Two Hundred Years of Australian Painting"; Bay Books; Sydney