John Perceval AO is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists renowned for his radicalism, expressiveness and prolific output. Between 1957-1962, during what is considered to be one of his most creative periods, Perceval produced a series of more than 70 ceramic angels sculptures as a result of his involvement with Arthur Merric-Boyd’s pottery studio at Murumbeena. Perceval’s angels are an often overlooked aspect of his oeuvre despite their technical and conceptual sophistication, humour and charm. The angels range from self-portraits and tributes to friends and family, to figures that illustrate allegorical stories and comment on the threat of nuclear weaponry.
This blog is proudly presented by Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) to accompany our forthcoming exhibition, Delinquent Angel: John Perceval’s ceramic angels, open from Friday 29 August to Sunday 23 November 2014. This exhibition brings together approximately 40 of John Perceval’s ceramic angels, and along with this blog, will explore their themes and examine the angels’ place within John Perceval’s artistic practice and world-at-large as a collaborator in the Angry Penguins avante-garde movement, father, friend, and critical member of society in conservative 1950s and ’60s Australia.
This blog will reproduce images of John Perceval’s angels held in public and private collections across Australia, feature guest-blogs, a new essay by art historian and curatorial consultant on this exhibition, Damian Smith, and links to sources of information on the angels. This blog is not exhaustive, but will create a rich web of information and a place for reflection, recollection and discussion on the history and contemporaneity of these beguiling, complex sculptures.
We welcome your comments, feedback, thoughts and information and hope to see you at SAM soon.
The Team at SAM.