Richard Lewer

Richard Lewer in 2023 Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria

We are excited to share the Richard Lewer’s series ‘Adam and Eve’ will be presented as part of the 2023 Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria which launches on 3 December.

Richard Lewer’s work often depicts biblical references, drawing on signs and symbols deeply rooted in these narratives. His latest series, twelve large-scale paintings, depicts the biblical story of Adam and Eve, conjuring modern relevance to the moral tale of desire, shame and original sin. Lewer’s work probes what is beautiful and sinister without moralising. For ‘Adam and Eve’, Lewer interrogates the innate human instinct to revel, neglect, and ignore consequences at a time of uncertainty, changing global politics and climate crisis at a time when decline and demise are becoming the hallmarks of society.

Join artists Richard Lewer, Diana Al-Hadid, Heather B Swann, and NGV curator Tedd Gott for an artist talk on Sun 3 December, 2.15pm–2.45pm, around the themes of memory and magic explored in the artists' work.

The Triennial will be on display at the National Gallery of Victoria from 3 December 2023 to 7 April 2024. 

View Richard Lewer's 'Adam and Eve' series here. 

Hugo Michell Gallery at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair

Hugo Michell Gallery are excited to return to Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, located at Booth F14 from 7th -10th September, 2023.

Richard Lewer
Trent Parke
Justine Varga
Sera Waters
Tony Garifalakis [Installation Contemporary]

Our booth presentation this year creates four distinctive spaces, with an immersive grotto of embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures by Sera Waters that dwell within the gaps of Australian histories to examine settler-colonial home-making patterns and practices. Richard Lewer’s take on the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ - pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth - is loaded with historical reference and surface lustre. Trent Parke’s photographic series ‘Monument’ revisits over 25 years of his most iconic street photography, presenting a single filmic narrative capturing the last moments on earth. Justine Varga’s intimate analogue photographs will seduce with deep colours and gestural marks that writhe across the surface. Tony Garifalakis' 'Scum Suite' engages with the ways in which the meaning of images, signs and symbols might be ascribed, conveyed or transformed in contemporary culture, and how conventional notions of hierarchy and status might be undermined. 

Sydney Contemporary, Australasia’s international art fair presents the country’s largest and most diverse gathering of local and international galleries.

Sera Waters, Justine Varga, Richard Lewer, Trent Parke for Hugo Michell Gallery at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, 2023. Photo by Document Photography. 

Register your interest to receive additional information regarding this presentation by emailing

Richard Lewer commission unveiled with opening of Sydney Modern Project

The expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – titled the Sydney Modern Project – has now been officially launched with the gallery unveiling nine Australian and international artists that have been commissioned to create works as part of the build.

For this commission, Richard Lewer went behind the scenes to capture the stories and portraits of people involved in the design and construction of the Art Gallery’s new building. His multipanel painting and suite of drawings celebrate the labour and personalities of those who have helped build Sydney’s newest cultural and architectural landmark.

Finalists in the 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

The 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prize finalists have been announced! 

Richard Lewer  has been announced as a finalist for the Archibald Prize; and Clara Adolphs is a finalist in the Wynne Prize. Congratulations to Richard and Clara!

Presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022.

The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

This is the fourth time that Richard Lewer has been represented in the Archibald Prize with a portrait of Elizabeth Laverty. “And I will keep painting her for as long as she’ll let me, or until we win!” says Lewer, whose practice has long explored the endurance, consistency and discipline that is required as an artist.

Laverty and her late husband, Sydney pathologist Colin Laverty, built one of Australia’s most significant collections of contemporary art, while supporting the Indigenous communities they visited.

“Liz is not just involved in the arts; she has many facets to her life. It is an honour to deepen my understanding of her past, present and future with each passing year. Nowadays, Liz is more vulnerable in many ways than when I first met her, yet she remains vibrant and open. She is well-informed on contemporary issues, socially adept and outward-looking. Liz continues to give back,” says Lewer.

“I have painted her daily morning ritual, sitting at the breakfast table surrounded by newspapers, planning her day in her heavily inscribed diary.”

As part of a major commissioning program to celebrate the opening of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building in late 2022, Lewer has created portraits of the many people involved in the construction of the Sydney Modern Project.

About this work Clara Adolphs shares: “I began painting clouds as a kind of backdrop for my figurative works, although they soon revealed themselves as the centrepiece. They are figurative beings, towering and monumental. Their formations are in a state of constant flux. The painting is one moment in their time of continuous change.

This particular cloud, a Cumulus congestus, was painted from a formation accumulating on the afternoon of Christmas Day, 2021. These clouds bring rain and unsettled weather, but from afar it was a perfect day.”

The exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Sally Bourke & Richard Lewer announced as finalists in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize

Congratulations to Sally Bourke and Richard Lewer who have been announced as semi-finalists in the 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

“For the judges, the shortlisted artists collectively demonstrate the way in which portraiture can and should be much more than the sheer skill of capturing of a likeness. The power of portraiture instead manifests from the almost intangible coming together of artist and subject; a tension or ‘rub’ that encourages the viewer to remain with a work and to return to it time and again, well beyond the initial moment of recognising the subject.

Judge Kelly Gellatly

The finalists will be announced on the 16 October and the winner will be revealed 30 October. The exhibition of finalists will be held at the historic Juniper Hall, Paddington from 31 October to 1 December 2019.

Kovacs and Lewer, FINALISTS in the Sulman Art Prize

Congratulations to Ildiko Kovacs and Richard Lewer, who have been selected as finalists in the 2019 Sir John Sulman Prize!

The Prize is presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.

Of the work, Kovacs says: “This painting comprises plywood covered with oil paint. I often use my hands to apply several layers of colour. I then draw into it with graphite and wax pencil. I work on the floor so I can press down onto the surface. This allows me to manoeuvre around the board as I improvise the form. The lines are webbed in the way they are drawn or scratched, appearing to have a primal quality that reminds me of scarification or Riji shell engravings.”

Of the work, Lewer says: “Last year was not a good year; I spent a lot of time in hospital with Dad who was very ill. One day I remember more vividly than the others. I’d returned to the ward for the afternoon and was watching Dad from the doorway when the doctor stood beside me and said, ‘We have grave concerns for your father’s health’. I made this work to process my reality and feelings, as deep and raw as they were.”

The winner will be announced May 10. Exhibition runs until June 30.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: WORD | A group exhibition featuring text-based work.

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of WORD, an ambitious group exhibition presenting text-based work from nearly 30 artists.

Featuring: Abdul Abdullah, Roy Ananda, Brook Andrew, Narelle Autio, David Booth [Ghostpatrol], Jon Campbell, James Dodd, Will French, Tony Garifalakis, Lucas Grogan, Kate Just, Anastasia Klose, Sue Kneebone, Alice Lang, Richard Lewer, Sophia Nuske, Nana Ohnesorge, Trent Parke, Philjames, Kenny Pittock, Toby Pola, Tom Polo, Elvis Richardson, Derek Sargent, Paul Sloan, Sera Waters, Gerry Wedd, Min Wong, and Paul Yore.

From raw mark-making to a choreographed line, text allows us to transfer ideas and connect universally. It is a coded form of communication that negotiates language and dialect. WORD presents a library of pithy phrases and sensitive secrets that span the entire gallery.

Please join us on Thursday the 30th of August to celebrate.

See the Facebook event here.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Richard Lewer | Sally Bourke

Richard Lewer's 'History of Australia’ and Sally Bourke’s ‘Tall Tales and True’.

“Over the last few years I’ve read, researched, listened to oral histories, travelled extensively, and interviewed many people, all with the aim of immersing myself in Australia and Australian culture. Giving context to the time that I live in in Australia, I am considering its history, politics, culture, people, et cetera.” – Richard Lewer

Representing the culmination of a period of research, Lewer’s latest body of work, ‘The History of Australia’, projects a national narrative. Throughout his career, Lewer’s visual outcomes have examined the intricacies of social narratives, and offered an immersive view of experience and community. However, ‘The History of Australia’ forms a broader chronicle, summoning the chorus to which these findings contribute. ‘The History of Australia’ provides documentation and an understanding of events that Lewer believes have shaped the Australia we live in today.

‘Tall Tales and True’ by Sally Bourke is a container for oral histories with unbelievable elements. The narrator seems to have been included in its’ stories. The silent glances of the characters belie the gravity of its heroes. Perhaps even at the expense of the truth. The painted protagonists of ‘Tall Tales and True’ ride the spectrum between Veritas, gossip, and the ironic solitude of the echo chamber.

Please join us in celebrating these two incredible exhibitions and our first of 2018!

Richard Lewer and William Mackinnon announced as FINALISTS in the Archibald and Wynne Prize

Congratulations to Richard Lewer, who has been selected as a Finalist in the 2017 Archibald Prize, and to William Mackinnon, who is a Finalist in the 2017 Wynne Prize!

Richard Lewer FINALIST in 2017 Archibald Prize

Elizabeth Laverty and her late husband Colin were among the first art collectors to travel the country and stay in remote Aboriginal communities, to visit the art centres, and to meet the artists whose work they were falling in love with. Over several decades, they built one of Australia’s best collections of Indigenous Australian contemporary art and worked tirelessly to raise money for community health and recreational facilities.

Over several decades, they built one of Australia’s best collections of Indigenous Australian contemporary art and worked tirelessly to raise money for community health and recreational facilities.

“I didn’t know any of this when I first met Liz, a year after Colin’s death. Prompted by my animation depicting a tragic love story about an elderly couple, we launched into a long conversation about life, love, and death. It was easy to feel an instant rapport with Liz – a fellow red-head – because she is a warm, passionate, humble woman,” says Richard Lewer. “I remember when I asked Liz if I could paint her portrait, her first response was, “Why would you want to paint me, what have I done?””

William Mackinnon FINALIST in 2017 Wynne Prize

“I call my work psychological landscapes. In a way, the roads and houses are always something more than just roads and houses. The cracks, drains, shadows rips, and glitter are stand-ins for emotional states, or symbolic of greater themes of life. I am interested in communicating what it feels like to be in our world in this time. The more personal I seem to make my paintings, the more they connect with others.”

The 2017 Wynne Prize, for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture, will be awarded on the evening of July 28. Exhibition runs from July 29 to October 22 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Exhibition runs from July 29 to October 22 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Winner will be announced on the evening of July 28.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: ‘The Sunshine Suite’ | Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of The Sunshine Suite featuring Jon Campbell, Nadine Christensen, Tony Garifalakis, Richard Lewer, Rob McHaffie, and Fiona McMonagle, and Creature Collection, featuring Yarrenyty Arltere artists, on Thursday, April 5 from 6pm!

Six Melbourne artists show new lithographs in The Sunshine Suite exhibiting concurrently at Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. Organiser Jon Campbell has brought together fellow artists and friends Nadine Christensen, Tony Garifalakis, Richard Lewer, Rob McHaffie, and Fiona McMonagle for this project.

This is the first time any of the artists have worked in the medium of lithography. Their practices are diverse, but usually involve drawing, painting, or making three-dimensional objects in individual studios. The printmaking process is different in that it is often collaborative. Artists use lithographic crayon to make an original image on a metal plate or slab of limestone, which is then chemically fixed, inked, printed, and editioned by an experienced or ‘master’ printmaker – in this instance, Adrian Kellett of Sunshine Editions.  Kellet also encouraged the artists to experiment with spray paint on acetate, acrylic paint, and ink on acetate, paper stencils, and transparent inks that further extended the possibilities of lithography, and produced new and exciting outcomes.

Rob McHaffie reflects on the process:

Drawing directly on the lithograph plate was a refreshing experience. You can’t rub out mistakes so once a line is down there’s no turning back. The texture of the plate means that the litho crayons move slow and steady across the plate so for me it was an awakening experience. After completing the drawing I wanted to add colour, which meant separating the image into 3 suitable colours, and blocking in those areas on separate plastic sheets that could then be transferred and printed on top of one another. The whole process of transferring the drawing and colours is still a complete mystery that I cannot fathom and is a credit to Adrian Kellett. The final prints pick up every tiny mark that I made during the production of the images.

Kellett has worked as a technician in the printmaking department of the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne since 1999. In 2012, he undertook a twelve-month training program at the renowned Tamarind Institute at the University New Mexico. During this period of intensive study he decided to focus on collaborative lithographic projects, and to set up a dedicated studio. The result is his newly-established workshop located in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine.

The exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery will run from April 6 until May 20, and at Darren Knight Gallery from April 8 until May 13.


Hugo Michell Gallery presents Creature Collection, featuring Yarrenyty Arltere artists.

When we came back from that long summer break we were so happy to see each other. Some of us had been a long way away, maybe all the way across the ocean. And some of us were lucky to sit down out bush watching the desert turn green, the rivers flow and the air drip thick with humidity. Some of us sat down at home in Alice Springs in our Town Camp, Yarrenyty Arltere. It was quiet some days and noisy other times. It was good but then we got started in our heads to want to have the art room open. We were thinking in our minds of all the things we could make. We were thinking we are ready now to start sewing. To get all those stories and all those ideas from our heads and make them come alive into our hands with the wool and the needles and the blankets. So when we opened the door first for 2017 and switched on that air con and flicked on that kettle and said hello and started making, well everything seemed to just settle down in the right way. We all felt happy and strong welcoming each other back and so all these creatures, this whole collection just came rushing out of us because we had us all back together, in our room, doing what we love so much, sewing up our stories, together.

Please join us in celebrating these two fantastic group exhibitions on April 6!