‘National treasure’, ‘legend,’ ‘inspiration’. These were just some of the reactions from my Instagram followers when I posted that I would be interviewing Guy Warren.

Guy is about to turn 100 years old.  He has no less than 5 shows opening this year.  But he is also plain spoken, practical, down to earth and modest. In typical style he seemed pleased when I told him of the Instagram reaction, but he quickly changed the subject. 

Guy has had an extraordinary career.  He has won numerous awards including the Archibald prize, exhibited in over 50 solo shows and a phenomenal 6 survey shows (with more to come this year), and received two honorary doctorates, the Order of Australia and the Australia Medal. His work is included in many public, private and corporate collections across the world.

Although his paintings include portraiture and abstraction, much of his work is concerned with the landscape. His paintings reflect his interest in the idea that we humans belong to and are part of the landscape. This is a view which he formed when posted in Bougainville in World War II and it has echoed through his work down the decades.

The fact that Guy will soon be turning 100 meant that I was one of many requesting an interview. Even so, he was generous with his time and shared his recollections of the Great Depression and WWII, of the tumultuous changes in the artworld in the 50s and 60s, and of his travels to Alice Springs, New Guinea and London.  We talk about the successes but also a couple of regrets.

To hear the podcast episode click on ‘play’ beneath the above feature photo. 

I’ll also be posting a short video of Guy in his studio on the Talking with Painters YouTube channel and to this website soon.

Upcoming shows

Links to things and people we talk about in this episode

‘To Jamberoo with love #1’, 2020, acrylic on linen, 40 x 50cm
Image courtesy of King Street Gallery on William and the artist
‘Time out #1’, 2020, watercolour on paper, 57 x 77cm
Image courtesy of King Street Gallery on William and the artist
‘Bush walk’, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60cm
Image courtesy of King Street Gallery on William and the artist
‘Gaia at Badgery’s’, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 274 x 274cm
Image: National Gallery of Australia Collection
‘Flugelman with Wingman’, 1985, oil on canvas, 225 x 178cm
Winner of the Archibald Prize 1985
Image: Art Gallery of NSW website
‘Prisoner’, 1962
Image: Canberra Museum and Gallery collection
‘Hobart series no.8’, 1979, watercolour on hand made paper, formed and manipulated Collection Art Gallery of NSW
Image: Art Gallery of NSW website


8 thoughts on “Ep 107: Guy Warren

  1. Holly Eva Gay

    What a wonderful Aussie character, a true blue soldier and so sophisticated, intelligent and free.
    I loved how I got to travel back in time with him as if I was the one walking on the goats track to visit Ian Fairweather!

    Brilliant interview and I could laugh with Guy because of his good sense of humour. It was so lovely and most of all very humbling.

  2. Sue

    Fabulous! Thanks Maria & Guy Warren. Surely some institution will step up to collect and keep his and Friedeberger’s works as a record of their remarkable adventure together.

  3. Colin Pennock

    What an enjoyable interview. Would love to chat with him. Happy Birthday to you Sir and a good year ahead
    Colin Pennock

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