Ray Austin Crooke (Australian, b. 1922)
Men Resting and Family on Beach, a pair of paintings
Oils on masonite, signed.
Painting size: 6” x 9”
Frame size: 9.5” x 12.5”
Crooke began painting at the age of 17 when his war service in the Australian Air Force took him to Borneo and the islands north of Australia. After the war, he remained in the area for a number of years before seeking additional artistic training at Swinburne Technical College under Roger James and Allan Jordan. He began exhibiting in 1969 and his portrayal of island life gained him great popularity.
Although he lived for a time in Melbourne, the draw of the north proved too strong. He returned to North Qld and traveled extensively among the northern islands. In 1966, Crooke was appointed an official artist in Vietnam for the following three years.
His work has been shown in Australian galleries from Melbourne to Sidney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. He has also had his work exhibited in the U.K. at the Tate Gallery and Leicester Galleries. The highest honor Crooke’s work has garnered is the Archibald Prize for his portrait of the writer George Johnston.
The National Collection, Canberra; all State Galleries and many regional galleries have his work represented in their permanent collections. He is also held in many private collections worldwide.
Crooke is listed in The Encyclopedia of Australian Art by McCulloch and Artists and Galleries of Australia and New Zealand by Germaine.