Ken Done Paintings You Probably Haven’t Seen: Selected Works 2000 – 2017
This vibrant, playful and truly magnificent exhibition brings together a vivid collection of recent and mostly unseen works featured in his new publication of the same title.
Ken Done is well known for his vibrant paintings that depict the iconic Australian experience. The magnificent selection of artworks in Paintings You Probably Haven’t Seen: Selected Works 2000 – 2017 celebrates the splendour of Australia’s natural beauty. The artist finds wonder in the everyday through glorious colour, spontaneous mark making and brilliant visual expression. This exhibition, as the title suggests, is a joyful collection of Ken’s most important pieces from his private collection, side by side with his latest studio work.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Ken Done has become one of Australia’s most famous artists. His work has been described as the most original style to come out of Australia, and his paintings are in collections throughout the world.
Born 29 June 1940 in Sydney, Ken left school at 14 to enter the National Art School in East Sydney. After 5 years study he commenced a highly successful career as an art director and designer in New York, London and Sydney.
At the age of 40, after painting for many years, he gave up his advertising career to become a painter fulltime. Since then, he has held over 50 one-man shows, including major exhibitions in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA and his works have been shown in the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne, Blake, and Dobell Prizes.
In 1991, a major touring exhibition in Japan attracted over 200,000 visitors. The artist’s first European exhibition was held in Paris in 1996 to great acclaim, and in 2000 the art of Ken Done was successfully premiered in both Los Angeles and London.
Major projects in a very diverse career include the painting of a BMW Artcar, and the total decorative scheme for the Garden Restaurant at the Powerhouse Museum, in Sydney. In 1994, a major retrospective of Ken Done’s work ‘Ken Done: the art of design’ was mounted by the Powerhouse Museum and In 2002 the Museum acquired his commercial art and design archive of more than 300 items.
In 1988, Hanako, a Tokyo fashion and lifestyle magazine was launched, and featured a Ken Done painting on the cover every week for over 15 years. In 1999, Done was asked to create a series of works for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies programs of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Ken’s paintings have become the creative source of a unique and very successful Australian business which continues to promote Australian art and design to a world-wide audience. In 1993 Ken, together with his fashion-designer wife Judy won the Fashion Industries of Australia’s Grand Award for Fashion.
Although he has worked extensively for many charitable organisations, the welfare of underprivileged children has always been a special concern of Ken’s. Father of the Year in 1989, Ken Done has been an Australian Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1988. In 1992, Ken received the Order of Australia (A.M.) for services to Art, Design and Tourism. In many parts of the world, Ken Done has come to symbolise Australia and Australians: creative, optimistic and bold.
Image credit: Ken Done - Violet Coral Head