Born Yeronga, Queensland, Australia 1895, died Hobart 1988
One of Australia’s best known and most prolific artists, Lloyd Rees studied at the Brisbane Technical College (1910–16) before moving to Sydney in 1917 to work as a commercial artist for Ure Smith, publisher of Art in Australia magazine. In 1923 Rees left Australia to travel and study in England and Europe.
A skilled draftsman, many of Rees’ early works were executed in pencil, pen and watercolour, and it was not until the late 1930s that he began to work seriously in oils. Between 1942–56, the area of Gerringong on the south coast of New South Wales was a great source of inspiration and he made a number of paintings of the land around Kiama, Berry and Werri Beach. In Spring afternoon, Werri Beach Rees accentuates the undulating landscape and shimmering light, conveying a sense of serenity and connectedness with this familiar place. Following this period he travelled to Europe several times and his work evolved markedly, shifting from highly descriptive and detailed, to abstract and impressionistic compositions by the 1970s.
During his career Rees won numerous awards, including the Silver Medal for drawing at the Paris International Exposition in 1937, the Wynne Prize for landscape in 1950 and 1982, and the Commonwealth Jubilee Prize, 1951. He was the President of the New South Wales Society of Artists from 1960–65 and was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1985.
His works have been included in numerous exhibitions within Australia, the United States and England and are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, all state galleries and several regional galleries and universities.