Leeton's Major Dooley Library is hosting an artwork by one of Australia's most successful visual artists. Ken Done has exhibited and sold his iconic work around the world for over three decades and developed a remarkably strong brand.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Ken Done has become one of Australia’s most famous artists. His work has been described as the most original style to come out of Australia, and his paintings are in collections throughout the world.
Born 29 June, 1940, in Sydney, Ken left school at 14 to enter the National Art School in East Sydney. After five years of study, he commenced a highly successful career as an art director and designer in New York, London and Sydney.
At the age of 40, after painting for many years, he gave up his advertising career to become a painter full-time. Since then, he has held over 50 one-man shows, including major exhibitions in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA. His works have been shown in the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne, Blake, and Dobell prizes.
In 1991, a major touring exhibition in Japan attracted over 200,000 visitors. The artist's first European exhibition was held in Paris in 1996, to great acclaim, and in 2000 the art of Ken Done was successfully premiered in both Los Angeles and London.
Major projects in a very diverse career include the painting of a BMW Artcar, and the total decorative scheme for the Garden Restaurant at the Powerhouse Museum, in Sydney. In 1994, a major retrospective of Ken Done's work "Ken Done: the art of design" was mounted by the Powerhouse Museum. In 1988, Hanako, a Tokyo fashion and lifestyle magazine, was launched, and featured a Ken Done painting on the cover every week for over 15 years.
In 1999, Done was asked to create a series of works for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies programs of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Ken's paintings have become the creative source of a unique, and very successful Australian business which continues to promote Australian art and design to a world-wide audience. In 1993, Ken, together with his fashion-designer wife Judy, won the Fashion Industries of Australia's Grand Award for Fashion.
In 1992, Ken received the Order of Australia (A.M.), for services to Art, Design and Tourism. In many parts of the world, Ken Done has come to symbolise Australia and Australians: creative, optimistic and bold. We hope he will inspire Leeton arts.