His work is installed in the Reserve Bank of Australia in Canberra, features in the Garden courtyard of Australia’s first ‘sky scraper’ the ICI Building in Melbourne, and is featured in Macquarie Place in Sydney and yet he is less well known than he should be.
Former head of UNSW’s School of Art and Emeritus Professor Peter Pinson has written a new book on the influential Australian sculptor Gerald Lewers.
When exhibiting in London as a young Australian artist in 1934, Gerald Lewers was described as a pioneer, an artist “destined to become a powerful influence in the cause of modernism in Australia”.
In this insightful history and evaluation, Peter Pinson confirms this prediction. While tracing some of the challenges and opportunities that Lewers experienced in his lifetime, Pinson brings alive the period in which the sculptor worked. Unable to commit to fulltime sculpture until his retirement in 1951, Lewers soon became known for his use of Australian timbers to capture drama and movement- qualities that also characterise a number of his major commissions, particularly fountains, in which movement and the spill of water are integrated with form.
Another significant Lewers legacy is his home in Emu Plains. This modernist environment was created with his wife, abstract expressionist painter Margo Lewers. It includes gardens, buildings and an art collection. Opened to the public in 1981, their home was the genesis of the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest.
Gerald Lewers Sculptor will be launched at UNSW Galleries on Wednesday 19 October 6-8pm. Students, staff, alumni and the wider community are welcome to join us.
About Peter Pinson OAM
After winning the New South Wales Travelling Art Scholarship in 1968, Peter Pinson undertook postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art in London. His career in art education included a period as Chief Education Officer at the National Gallery of Victoria, and also as Head of the School of Art at COFA now UNSW Art & Design.
Peter Pinson has written widely on the visual arts, his publications include monographs on artists Rodney Milgate, Emanuel Raft, Elwyn Lynn, Col Jordan and Bert Flugelman, and a study of the late work of John Passmore. He has also served three terms as President of the Australian Watercolour Institute.