Mar 12 2009

Larter – Richard

Published by

Medium: Painting & graphics




Born in Britain in 1929 Richard Larter moved to Australia in the late 1950’s and was a long time resident of the town of Yass.

Richard Larter’s work adheres to a Pop Art aesthetic through his use of images taken from fashion, advertising, news media and pornography. Drawing on politics and popular culture, his sometimes explicit imagery explores female sexuality and can be both sensual and shocking. His wife and fellow artist, Pat, was his most consistent and available model for over 30 years until her death in 1996, and she features in much of his figurative work.


Larter has always been experimental in his painting technique, often combining figurative and abstract elements in the same composition. In the 1950s and 60s he used hypodermic syringes filled with paint to define form with rhythmic swirling lines. Later works use pointillist dots to imitate cheap colour magazine reproductions and horizontal stripes akin to those on TV sets. His roller works of the 1980s veer further into abstraction.
He is represented in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, most State galleries and many regional and university collections, the Parliament House collection in Canberra, Artbank, and the Robert Holmes a Court collection.

In 2008 the National Gallery of Australia honoured him with a major retrospective of his life’s work and his portrait entitled ‘Nelle’ was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Archibald Prize, Australia’s most prestigious award for portraiture.