Stephen Lees

Stephen Charles Lees (b 1954), artist, born in Sydney, studied painting at the National Art School, graduating in a cultural climate that proclaimed painting 'dead'. Working and teaching in Tasmania from 1976, he joined the first Masters intake at the Tasmanian School of Art (1981), continued to teach painting and drawing, wrote reviews for the Mercury and maintained his passion for art history and theory. He abandoned art academia for a return to studio practice and direct 'plein air' engagement with Tasmanian landscape, exploring its 'essence' while addressing a long-held formal concern to unite the qualities of light and surface achievable through traditional painting techniques with the open, inventive picture space of the modern era. Resonant, enigmatic and accessible, his beautifully resolved works celebrate yet another survival of painting.

Jan Peacock