Artist Biography

Stewart MacFarlane is an Australian artist. Born in Adelaide in 1953, he was encouraged at school by South Australian artist, David Dridan. At 16 he entered the South Australian School of Art, intent on following a career as a painter. There MacFarlane was influenced by Adelaide artist, David Dallwiltz.

MacFarlane traveled to New York in 1975, aged 21, to study at the School of Visual Arts for 2 years. He remained living and working in New York for several years. New York based artist and teacher, John Button, became MacFarlane’s mentor, post art school. During this time, MacFarlane received residencies and fellowships to the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Maine, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire. He exhibited in group shows as well as having three solo exhibitions in New York. Firstly at Razor Gallery, SoHo in 1979, then Belanthi Gallery in 1979 and the Australian Consulate New York in 1983.

MacFarlane worked as a studio assisstant for several New York City based artists from 1977-79, including, Janet Fish, Alex Katz and Chuck Close.

He returned to Australia in 1983, moving to Melbourne the following year for post-graduate studies at the Victorian College of the Arts. In 1985, he taught at The Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education and in 1986 moved to Darlinghurst, Sydney to paint. Later that year, he was artist-in-residence in the Besozzo Studio, Italy.

In 1987, MacFarlane lived and painted in Mornington, Victoria for several months before receiving an initial residency with the Roswell Artist-in-residence program, New Mexico, for a year.

Over the next 8 years he moved between Melbourne, Sydney and Roswell, producing one or more solo exhibitions each year. In 1994 he received a residency at The Bemis Center, Omaha, Nebraska, then traveled to Mexico to paint for 3 months.

Queensland became home on returning in 1995, where he remained to work for the next seven years, basing himself in Maryborough firstly, then New Farm and the Sunshine Coast.

MacFarlane moved to Hobart from 2002 until 2011. He moved back to mainland Australia, in 2011.

In 1996 the monograph, Stewart MacFarlane Riddles of Life by Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian, was published by Craftsman House. MacFarlane is in the majority of State Gallery collections as well as the Australian National Gallery.

He has held over 50 solo exhibitions of his work in Australia, Asia, U.S.A. and Germany.

A major monograph was published in July 2012. In 2016 he married Robyn-Ann Potanin.

Artist CV

Born 24/11/53, Adelaide, South Australia


1984 Post-graduate Studies (Painting), Victorian College of the Arts
1977 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), School of Visual Arts, New York City, U.S.A.
1976 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, U.S.A.
1974 Diploma of Fine Arts (Painting), South Australian School of Art


Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania
Alice Springs Art Foundation, Araluen Art Centre, Northeren Territory
Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, New Mexico, USA
Artbank, Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia
Australian National Gallery, Canberra
Brisbane City Gallery, Queensland
Curtin University Gallery, Perth
Griffith University, Brisbane
Latrobe Valley Arts Centre, Victoria
Lawrence Wilson Gallery, University of Western Australia
Monash University. Melbourne
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, Queensland
Print Council of Australia, Melbourne
Provincetown Museum and Art Center, Massachusetts, USA
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Solo Exhibitions

2023 Australian Gothic, Linton and Kay Gallery, Perth, Australia

2022 The Non Conformist, Fletcher Arts Melbourne, Australia

2022 Country Road, Belalie Art Gallery, Jamestown, South Australia

2021 Odyssey, Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane, Australia

2020 Outside Looking In, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, Australia

2020 Transcontinental, Aptos Cruz Galleries, Stirling, South Australia

2019 The Real World, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, NSW, Australia

2019 The Real World, Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, NSW, Australia

2018 The Untold Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2018 Coastline Mitchell Fine Art, Brisbane, Australia

2017 Lust for Life, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, Australia

2017 Gouaches, Arts Center, Port Noarlunga, South Australia

2015 Autograph, Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumur, Malaysia

2015 Persistence, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, Australia

2014 Medusa, Australia Galleries, Melbourne, Australia

2013 The Big Picture, Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2013 Second Sight, Australian Galleries, Sydney, Australia

2012 Ordinary Beauty, Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery

2011 Inheritance, Wei Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

2010 Darkness on the Edge of Town, Michael Reid at Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, Australia

2009 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane

2008 Time in America, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

2008 America, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

2008 Strange Land, Roswell Museum and Art Center, New Mexico, USA

2007 Serenade, Michael Reid at Elizabeth Bay, Sydney

2006 Private Life, Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Small Observations, (Survey) Carnegie Gallery, Hobart; Vision, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane

2005 Pretty Colours, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne; Life Size, Bett Gallery Hobart

2004 Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney; Jazz, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; Chapman Gallery, Canberra

2003 Galerie Carlos Hulsch, Berlin, Germany; New Start, Bett Gallery Hobart; Some Kinds of Love, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

2002 BMG Art, Adelaide; Dridan Fine Art, McLaren Vale, South Australia

2001 Compulsion (Survey), Brisbane City Gallery; Interior, Greenhill Galleries, Perth; Revelation, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; University Paintings, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, Syd Uni; Fortune, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

2000 Stone Free, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne; Screen Play, Galerie Carlos Hulsch Berlin, Germany

1999 Small Paintings, Gallery 460, Gosford NSW; Glow, Greenhill Galleries, Perth; Hometown, BMG Art, Adelaide

1998 Country Life, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane; Turpentine, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

1997 Noosa: Not Just A Holiday, Noosa Regional Gallery; Favour, Greenhill Galleries, Perth

1996/7 McClelland Regional Gallery, Victoria

1996 Outcast, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

1995 Bordertown, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney; Greenhill Galleries, Perth

1994 Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide; Greenhill Galleries, Perth; The Modern World, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

1993 Australian Passenger, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, Perth Galleries, Perth Gallery 409 (The Anderson Contemporary Art Gallery), Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A.

1992 Perth Galleries, Perth

1991 Gallery 409 (The Anderson Contemporary Art Gallery), Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A.; Roswell, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney

1990 Australian Galleries, Melbourne; Anima Gallery, Adelaide; Perth Galleries, Perth

1988 Door of Memories, The Roswell Museum and Art Centre, Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A.; Nine Months in New Mexico, 70 Arden Street, North Melbourne

1987 Holdsworth Contemporary Gallery, Sydney; Frightened Gods, 70 Arden Street, North Melbourne

1985 Bright Lights, Big City, 70 Arden Street, North Melbourne

1984 Expatriates, Contemporary Art Society, Adelaide

1983 Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts, U.S.A; Australian Consulate, New York City, U.S.A.

1979 Razor Gallery, New York City, U.S.A.; Belanthi Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Heartland, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

40th Anniversary Exhibition: Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Roswell Museum and Art Gallery, USA

Glover Art Prize (commended), Tasmania

So You Wanna Be A Rock `N” Roll Star: Australian Painting From the NGV Shell Collection, National Gallery of Victoria Touring Exhibition, Wangaratta Exhibition Gallery, McClelland Gallery, Hamilton Art Gallery

A Partial View: Australian Art in the UWA Collection, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia

To Look Within, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra & University Art Museum, Brisbane

The Painted Self, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria

Imaging the Apple, Australian touring exhibition, Arts Academy, University of Ballarat

Freudian Slip, BMG Gallery, Adelaide

2003 Self Portrait, Galerie Carlos Hulsch, Berlin, Germany

Sex and Sensuality, Noosa Regional gallery, Queensland

People and Places, Redland Art Gallery, Queensland

Back to the Future, Monash Museum of Art, Victoria

The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria

Travelling the Roundabout, Academy Gallery, Launceston and Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart

Future Perfect, Bett Gallery Hobart

Heat, Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland

Naked, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney

The Painted Fold, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

Self Portrait, Galerie Carlos Hulsch, Berlin

Ill Met By Moonlight – An Exhibition of Nocturnes, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, Sydney

Male Nude – A Private View, Charles Nodrum Gallery

Body Image, Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane

Small Paintings, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts, U.S.A

Land Mark, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Vic.

Skin Deep, New Zealand

William Dobell Drawing Prize, AGNSW, Sydney

Cars and Culture Our Driving Passions, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Riding on the Edge. Art, identity and the Motorcycle, Waverly City Gallery, Victoria

The Artist’s Retreat: Discovering the Mornington Peninsula 1850s to the Present, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria

Salon des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

Visy Board Art Prize, Tanunda, South Australia

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Touring Exhibition

The Fleurieu Biennale, McLauren Vale, South Australia

Flesh, Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland

Luscious, Cooloola Shire Public Gallery, Queensland

Alice Springs Art Award, Alice Springs

Conrad Jupiters Gold Coast Art Award, Queensland

Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

If You’re Creative You Can Get Stuffed, Continental Café, Melbourne

Forth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

Monash University Collection, Monash University, Melbourne

William Dobell Drawing Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Salon des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

Death, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, University of Sydney 1992

Urban Images, Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne

Artists from Melbourne, The Australia Gallery, NYC, USA

Moet et Chandon Touring Exhibition

Heidelberg and Heritage, Linden Gallery, Melbourne

Artists under Saturn, Ian Potter Gallery, The Uni of Melb

A New Generation, Australian National Gallery, Canberra

Paintings from Roswell, Uni. of Texas, El Paso, USA

What’s Happening: A Fly-By, The Roswell Museum and Arts Centre, New Mexico, U.S.A.

The Naked City, Contemporary Arts Centre of South Australia, Adelaide

Here and There, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne

Budget Collection Touring Exhibition

ICI Collection, Touring Exhibition

Selected Awards and Residencies

2007/8 Roswell Artist-inResidence, Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation, New Mexico, USA

2006/7 Public Art Commision (Bridgewater High School Mural), Tasmania Government

2006 New Work Grant, Visual Arts Board, The Australia Council

2005 Public Art Commission (Rosebery High School), Tasmanian Government

2005 Visual Arts Grant, Arts Tasmania

2002 Artist-in-Residence, University of Tasmania, School of Art; New Work Grant, Australia Council

1998 New Work Grant, The Arts Office, Qld Government

1997 The Alice Prize, The Alice Springs Art Foundation, NT; Artist-in-Residence, Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD

1996 Logan City Art Award, Painting, Queensland

1994 Artist-in-Residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

1992 Artist-in-Residence, Edith Cowan University, Perth

1992 Artist-in-Residence, Monash University, Gippsland, VIC.

1990/1 Artist-in-Residence, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A.

1987/8 Artist-in-Residence, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.A.

1987 Artist-in-Residence, Monash University, Gippsland, Victoria

1986/7 Visual Arts Board, Besozzo Studio, Italy

1985 Visual Arts Board, Half Standard Grant

1978 Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

1977/8 Artist-in-Residence, Fine Art Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts. U.S.A.

1976 Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, U.S.A.

1975 Visual Arts Board Grant, Overseas Study

Selected Bibliography

Small Observations, 1967-2005
Survey of Small Paintings, Essay by Dr Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart.

Private Life, Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Compulsion: Stewart MacFarlane, Essay by Vincent Katz, Brisbane City Gallery

Stewart MacFarlane Riddles of Life, Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian, Sydney: Craftsman House.

Cars and Culture. Our Driving Passions, Charles Pickett, Sydney: Harper Collins & Powerhouse Publishing

Images 3, Contemporary Australian Painting, Nevill Drury, Sydney: Craftsman House; Australian Artlook, Melbourne:Heinemann.

Art Now. Contemporary Art Post-1970, Donald Williams and Colin Simpson, Sydney: McGraw-Hill; Images 2, Contemporary Australian Painting, Nevill Drury, Sydney: Craftsman House.

The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Alan McCulloch (rev. by Susan McCulloch) Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Stewart MacFarlane: Small Observations (Survey Exhibition), Essay: Dr Veronique Helridge-Marsillian, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart City Council.

Compulsion: Survey exhibition, Brisbane City Gallery

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Touring Exhibition

Shell Collection of Contemporary Art, Robert Lindsay.

Death, Felicity Fenner and Anne Loxley, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

Artists under Saturn, Frances Lindsay, Ian Potter Gallery, The University of Melbourne

Moet and Chandon Touring Exhibition, Frances Lindsay; I.C.I. Contemporary Art Collection, Robert Lindsay; Drawing, Jennifer Phipps, Geelong Art Gallery

The Naked City, Margot Osborne, Contemporary Arts Society of South Australia, Adelaide

Here and There, Elaine Merkus, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne; Young Australians. Budget Collection, Robert Lindsay, Powell Street Gallery; Stewart MacFarlane. Door of Memories, Roswell Museum and Art Center, New Mexico, U.S.A.

“The Painted Self”, Roger Leong, Australian Artist (No 242, August); “Stewart MacFarlane”, Alison Kubler, State of the Arts (April)

Artlink (Cover Image), Vol 23, No. 2

“Review of Compulsion”, Tim Morrell, Art Link (Dec)

“The Function”, Timothy Morrell, Artlines (Aug-Sept), Queensland Art Gallery Society

“Work and Sex. Three Paintings by Stewart MacFarlane”, Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian., Art Monthly (July)

“Stewart MacFarlane: ‘Roswell’”, Rosemary Adam, Art Monthly (March)

“Stewart MacFarlane”, Rosemary Adam, Tension (22: Sept)

“Summer Famine”, Christopher Heathcote, Art Monthly (March)

“Private View with Stewart MacFarlane”, produced and directed by Nicholas Nedelkopoulos
“Self Portraits”, Sunday, Nine Network (29 August)

“Stewart MacFarlane Profile”, ABC TV Stateline (18 July)[/tab]