Richard Lewer

Born in New Zealand. Lives and works in Melbourne, Victoria.

Based in Melbourne, Richard Lewer exhibits regularly in Australia and New Zealand. He is known for his video and animation, paintings, and delicately beautiful drawings, which evocatively rework some of life’s less pleasant elements – crime scenes, illness, horror movies and extreme events. The work is accessible and familiar, with a critical edge that probes what is beautiful and sinister about our society without injecting a moralising tone or political message.


2000  Master of Visual Art - Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
1989-92  Bachelor of Fine Art - Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University


2022  Misadventures,  Suite Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Northcote to Northern Rivers, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
Richard's Disasters: A True Story, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
2020  You were always on my mind, Suite Gallery, Auckland
As I Stepped out into the Bright Sunlight, Sullivan & Strumpf Gallery, Sydney
Collective Memory, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland
2019  Cool Southerly Change with Fine Patches in the Afternoon, Suite Gallery, Auckland Art Fair, Auckland
2018  Kokoda: The Adventure of a Lifetime, Sullivan & Strumpf Gallery, Sydney
It’s Better to Burn Out than to Fade Away, Suite Gallery, Wellington
The History of Australia, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
2017  Life, Love and Death, Sullivan & Strumpf Gallery, Singapore
Getting to Know You, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
2016  The Best Thing About Going Away is Coming Home, Sullivan & Strumpf, Sydney
2015  Believe It or Not, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
Custom of the Sea – wall drawing & live performance, St Paul’s St Gallery, AUT, Auckland
It’s More Than a Game, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Parnngurr, Sullivan & Strumpf, Sydney
2014  Mostly Sunny, Hugo Michell Gallery, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne
2013  The Ten Commandments, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
9 Day Swing, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne
2012  Gertrude Edition: Tarot Card Series, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne 
I Must Learn To Like Myself, Library Installation, La Trobe University Museum of Art (LUMA)
Sometimes All I Look Forward to is Lunch – collaboration with Tony Garifalakis, Hugo
Michell Gallery, Adelaide
2011  Painters and Dockers, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
The Drawing Wall Commission and Last Will and Testament, Shepparton Art Gallery
2010  I Must Learn To Like Myself, survey exhibition, Waikato Museum, Hamilton
2009  Nobody Likes a Show-off, survey exhibition, Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne


2022  The Arena, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange
Storylines, Maitland Regional Gallery, Maitland
2021  Shadow Boxer, Maitland Regional Gallery, Maitland
One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo
2020  Just Not Australian, travelling exhibition, Museums & Galleries NSW
2019  A resting place, Museum of Art & Culture, Lake Macquarie
2018  Weapons for the Soldier, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney, Auckland Art Fair, Sullivan + Strumpf
State of Union, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne
JusticeNJustice, The Lockup, Newcastle
2017  Sorry Father for I have sinned, its been 8 years since my last confession, Installation
Contemporary at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Carriageworks, Sydney
The Archibald Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
The National: New Australian Art, Carriageworks, Sydney
2016  Sappers & Shrapnel – Contemporary Art and the Art of the Trenches, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial - Close to Home, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2015  Death, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney
From the Collection: Gertrude Contemporary Regional Residencies, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool
2014  Memento Mori, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Perth
Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne
Dark Heart: Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia
2013  Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne
Inside Running – The Art of Sport, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
Onside, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney
2012  Negotiating This World, Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne
Yonder, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Perth
2011  10 Ways to Look at the Past, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne
2010  Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
2009  I Walk the Line, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney Animation and Video 
2017   “Never Shall be Forgotten – A Mother’s Story”, hand drawn animation about Jon Pat, a 16 year old indigenous boy from Roebourne, WA, who’s death in police custody in 1983 was instrumental in Australia’s Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
2014  “Worse Luck I’m Still Here”, hand drawn animation telling the tragic love of an elderly couple.
2010  “The Sound of Your Own Breathing”, three hand-drawn animations about sport.
2007  “The Committee”, Northside Boxing Club Committee Meeting.
2006  “Skill, Discipline, Training”, hand-drawn animation about a gymnastics coach with a secret.
2004  “In Between”, three hand-drawn animations about ghost experiences.


2022  Nancy Fairfax AIR, Tweed Heads Regional Art Gallery, NSW
2021  The Archibald Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  The Archibald Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2020  WINNER Paul Guest Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
The Archibald Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
 The Archibald Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2016  WINNER Basil Sellers Art Award, Melbourne
2015  Albany Art Award, Albany, WA
2014  The Blake Prize, Sydney
2013  The Black Swan Portraiture Award, Perth
2010  National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria


2020  Collie Print Trust Fellowship, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne
AIR on Sydney Modern construction site, 2020-2022, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA
2014  Parnngurr Community (Martumili Artists), Western Desert, WA
2012  Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
2010  Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne
ISCP, New York


Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Art Gallery of South Australia 
Auckland Art Galley Toi O Tāmaki, NZ
Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Monash University Museum of Art 
Melbourne University Ian Potter Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ
National Gallery of Australia 
National Gallery of Victoria 
Shepperton Art Museum
Sydney Modern, Art Gallery of New South Wales
University of Waikato, NZ
University of Western Australia
Victoria University, NZ
Waikato Museum, NZ