Australian ( b.1920 - d.1996 )
|Image size||19.3 inches x 23.2 inches ( 49cm x 59cm )|
|Frame size||22.4 inches x 26.4 inches ( 57cm x 67cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by Louis James dated 1951.
The painting is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary frame (which is shown in these photographs) behind glass.
The original backboard carrying the location title has been reused with an isolating boundary layer being one of the conservation materials used.
Louis James was an accomplished Australian artist on both oils and watercolours. His work is semi-abstract, and includes cityscapes, interiors and environments containing ironic social commentary.
He was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1920 and first worked as a draughtsman in the Lands and Survey Department in Adelaide. He was called up at the outbreak of the Second World War and served for the duration in the 2nd Australian Imperial Force. He served in England, the Middle East, the Siege of Tobruk, Palestine and Syria. He then returned to Australia and New Guinea, where he suffered severe malaria, causing him to spend time in various hospitals.
After the war he married his sweetheart, Pat, whom he had met in 1938 and following his discharge from AIF returned to the Department of Lands and Survey. He developed a keen interest in painting and, despite a lack of formal training, joined the Royal South Australia Society of Artists. He enjoyed considerable success and held his first solo exhibition three years later at the John Martin’s Gallery, Adelaide. He then moved to England and worked for about fifteen years in Europe, based in London. During this time he joined Artist International Association, whose aim was to promote the unity of artists for peace, democracy and cultural development. He continued to paint, became part of the London Group and also worked as a draftsman at the Geological Museum, South Kensington. He travelled to various regions of France, and worked with other painters, including Fred Williams. In 1960 he established a business restoring antique furniture, gilding and framing and from 1963 he taught part time at the Shoreditch Technical College, drawing and the history of furniture and textiles.
Robert James returned to Australia in 1965 and was employed as a tutor at the University of New South Wales in drawing in the Architecture faculty. In 1978 he travelled again, to London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris and New York.
In England he showed in the 1950s and 1960s in the Redfern Gallery, also at Store Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne. He had a retrospective show at Bonythou-Meadmore Gallery, Adelaide in 1986.
During his career he held no less that forty- eight solo exhibitions, and took part in almost forty group exhibitions. He was awarded many prizes, including the Life Prize of the Royal South Australian Society of Artists, the Sulman Prize twice and the Newcastle Gallery Prize.
Today his works are held by many galleries in the UK, including the Tate, which has a self-portrait, and two Oxford Colleges, and practically all of the major art galleries and educational establishments of Australia.
This original oil on card shows a charming pastoral scene in rural France, 1951. There is a cluster of buildings in the distance, all with red tiled roofs, and a stone coloured church with a tall steeple. A large tree stands in the foreground and a couple of fields in between, with a rough shrub hedge. The palette, of greens with some ripe golden shades suggests this is late summer. The overall effect is calm, easy and very French from an artist from a land down under!