Artist's Biography

Garry Shead was born in Sydney in 1942.

He is one of Australia’s most prominent & collectable painters and has exhibited widely in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

He studied at the National Art School (East Sydney Technical College) from 1961-62.

A versatile satirist who was influenced by the Pop Art movements in the UK and the USA, Shead worked as a cartoonist for the Bulletin, Oz magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald. He also made satirical films based on similar themes to his paintings.

For his paintings he uses oil, acrylic, collage and watercolour.

From 1963-66, Shead worked as a scenic artist with ABC TV and then as an assistant film editor from 1967-68.

From 1979-81, he was a drawing tutor at the University of NSW.

Shead lived and worked in Hungary in 1983.

In 1993, he showed a series of works based on the D.H. Lawrence book “Kangaroo” that documented the experiences of a young British couple living in a small NSW country town in the late 1800’s.

In 1993 he also won the prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture for his painting of publisher Tom Thompson.

Shead has won many other prizes, including: Young Contemporaries Prize 1967 (from the Contemporary Art Society of NSW); the Power Grant to be Artist-in-Residence at the Power Studio at the Cite des Artes in Paris 1972; Michel Karolyi Foundation Studio, Vence, France 1982; NSW Law Society Mahlab Prize 1986; and Finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize in 1988.

Shead’s work was also included in the “Portraits of Australia” exhibition in 1984 (Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of VIC & the Australian National Gallery).

His paintings are represented at the State Art Galleries in NSW & SA, Art Museum Armidale, Australian National University, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Deakin University, Latrobe Valley Arts Centre, Mildura Arts Centre, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, National Gallery of Australia, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Orange Regional Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, Shepparton Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Woollongong City Gallery, National Museum of Budapest, and private collections in the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia.