Painting is acrylic on canvas and measures 183cm x 122cm and was painted in a studio in Cairns.
James Meldrums paintings were first shown in London, then at Kozminsky galleries in Melbourne 1953. His large, colourful, surrealistic canvases depicting non functional furniture have appeared in many exhibitions and won him the 1971 Sulman Prize. He held about 30 solo exhibitions 1951 – 2006 including in London, Sydney and Melbourne. Widely travelled, his commissions included a number of mural commissions for architectural firms in Melbourne and Brisbane. James Meldrum’s works are represented in the collections of the Art Gallery of NSW – as part of the bequest of novelist Patrick White – and in Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia.
While he held his first solo exhibition at the age of just 20, in 1951, he later concentrated on teaching art at RMIT – something Fred Williams reportedly tried to get him to quit in favour of painting full-time.
In a review of a 1998 exhibition, The Age’s critic Arthur McIntyre said the painter had an ”important role in Australian art history”, linking ”the early local surrealism of Gleeson with that of the ’80s exponents, such as Dale Frank, Peter Booth and the junior imitators of the European trans-avant-garde”.