Welcome to the website of John Coburn
Here we hope to inspire you to know more about this great Australian artist and give you an insight into his life and career.
Coburn is a significant figure in Australian art, he was active from 1959 to 2003.
Coburn is widely acknowledged for his paintings and prints, however he is also regarded as an important tapestry designer. His major works include the Curtain of the Sun and Curtain of the Moon, designed for the Sydney Opera House.
Coburn’s work has been widely exhibited internationally and hangs in the Vatican Museum Rome and in all the state and national galleries in Australia.
Coburn was a committed educator and activist and progressed from teacher to Head of School at the National Art School Darlinghurst, Sydney in 1972, then called East Sydney Tech.
It was there he first studied art after coming home from the war, enrolling as an ex-servicemen and where he met his future wife Barbara Woodward. They graduated together in 1952.
In 1980 he was awarded the Order of Australia for his contributions to Australian Art. His resonant practice sings with rich colour, where he uses flat-patterned shapes to evoke spirituality and emotion.
His bio-morphic and iconic shapes draw on cultural influences and the Australian Landscape. He is especially inspired by his childhood home in tropical North Queensland.