Born Kodal, Norway 1906, arrived Perth, Australia 1929, died Perth 1987


Harald Vike grew up on a farm in Norway, where he painted his surrounds and copied the works of nineteenth century Norwegian landscape artists. At seventeen he joined a whaling ship and travelled between South Georgia, the Faulkland Islands, French Equatorial Africa and the west coast of Australia, sketching at every opportunity.

In 1929 Vike settled in Perth where he was introduced to George Pitt Morison, director of the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia (1930–41), who tutored and mentored the young artist. Not long after this, Vike relinquished his nineteenth century painting style and embraced modernism, although he would paint in a variety of styles throughout his career. After several years in Perth, Vike moved to Melbourne where he lived for twenty-seven years. He painted and exhibited regularly and his subjects ranged widely from the Australian landscape and cities to studies of people at work and play.

Vike had fifteen solo exhibitions between 1937 and 1977, and participated in many group exhibitions until his death in 1987. He has been included in the survey exhibitions: Western Australian Artists 1920–1950, Art Gallery of Western Australia (1980); Classical modernism: The George Bell Circle, National Gallery of Victoria (1992); and After van Gogh: Australian artists in homage to Vincent, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (2005). His work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and the Universities of Western Australia and Tasmania.