Famous Australian Artists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery
Famous As: Dancer, Entrepreneur, Actor, Model
Birthdate: March 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sunshine
Died: December 31, 1994

 2 Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 28, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hermannsburg
Died: August 8, 1959

Born Elea, Albert Namatjira was rechristened after converting to Christianity. The Australian aboriginal painter, known for his watercolor paintings, couldn’t build a house in Alice Springs because of his aboriginal origin, leading to public outrage, which eventually led the government to make him and his wife full citizens.

 3 Poh Ling Yeow

Poh Ling Yeow
Famous As: Chef and Artist
Birthdate: August 5, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Poh Ling Yeow is a Malaysian-born Australian television presenter, cook, author, actress, and artist who lives and works in Adelaide. A popular figure, Yeow has appeared in several films and popular TV shows like MasterChef Australia. Also known for her humanitarian efforts, Poh Ling Yeow donated her artwork to benefit Flinders Medical Centre in 2003.

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 4 Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Died: November 28, 1992

Sidney Nolan is best remembered for his depictions of Australian folklore in his art. The artist had had brief stints as a cyclist, a gold miner, and a cook, before he took up painting as a vocation at 21. Apart from landscapes, his paintings also portrayed legendary figures such as outlaw Ned Kelly.

 5 Patricia Piccinini

Patricia Piccinini
Famous As: sculptor, photographer
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Freetown

 6 Craig Nicholls

Craig Nicholls
Famous As: Singer, Composer, Painter, Guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sydney

Best known as lead singer and solo continues member of the Australian alternative rock band The Vines, Craig Nicholls developed an early interest in music. He opened his band, then called Rishikesh, in 1994. Later he changed the name to Vines and as it started playing gigs he began writing songs for it, also painting covers for several of its album.

 7 Steve Kilbey

Steve Kilbey
Famous As: Poet, Painter, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Record producer
Birthdate: September 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Welwyn Garden City

Steve Kilbey is an English-Australian singer-songwriter and bass guitarist best known for his association with the rock band The Church. He performs as a solo artist as well and has 14 solo albums to his name. A multi-talented personality, he is also a poet, painter, and music producer. As an artist, he has had at least two exhibits in US. 

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 8 Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts
Famous As: Artist, Painter
Birthdate: March 9, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dorchester
Died: September 14, 1931

Tom Roberts is largely credited with bringing in impressionism to Australia. He initially took up photography to support his art classes and then went to England to study art. He later co-established an artists’ camp at Box Hill and also gained fame as a painter of outdoor life in Australia.

 9 Frank Hurley

Frank Hurley
Famous As: Explorer, Photographer, War photographer, Photojournalist
Birthdate: October 15, 1885
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glebe
Died: February 16, 1962

Australian photographer Frank Hurley is best remembered for recording the Antarctic expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton, known as Endurance. He also risked his life clicking pictures in both the World Wars. After running away from home at 13, he studied engineering but found his calling in photography.

 10 Brett Whiteley

Brett Whiteley
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney
Died: June 15, 1992

Australian painter Brett Whiteley is best known for being associated with the avant-garde and expressionist movements. He scripted history by becoming the youngest artist to have had his painting purchased by the Tate Gallery. Some of his most popular paintings were inspired by British serial killer John Christie.

 11 Stelarc

Famous As: artist
Birthdate: June 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne

 12 Margaret Preston

Margaret Preston
Famous As: artist, painter
Birthdate: April 29, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: May 28, 1963

 13 Arthur Boyd

Arthur Boyd
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 24, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Murrumbeena
Died: April 24, 1999

Born to the ceramicist-painter couple Doris and Merric Boyd, Arthur Boyd followed in his parents’ footsteps to become a painter, printmaker, and potter. His works were often set against the backdrop of the Australian bush. He was also part of the Antipodeans, a group of artists who encouraged figurative art.

 14 Martin Sharp

Martin Sharp
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bellevue Hill, Australia
Died: December 1, 2013

Apart from being a renowned artist and filmmaker, Martin Sharp was also a talented musician and songwriter. His art included posters for popular musicians such as Donovan and Bob Dylan. He often included psychedelic patterns and cartoons in his art. He also gained fame as an editor of the satire magazine Oz.

 15 Vali Myers

Vali Myers
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney
Died: February 12, 2003

After leaving home at 14, Vali Myers moved into a shared apartment and paid for her ballet classes by working in a factory. The red-haired beauty became a dancer with the Melbourne Modern Ballet Company by 17. She later balanced her life as a nightclub dancer and a talented painter.

 16 Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1910 AD
Birthplace: Utopia, Sandover, Australia
Died: August 31, 1996

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, an Anmatyerr-speaking indigenous Australian artist, became famous for her poetic depictions of her desert homeland. She worked from a remote corner of the Simpson Desert. Apart from acrylic, her work also included elements of batik, tie-dye, and block printing and had the yam plant as a recurrent theme.

 17 Pro Hart

Pro Hart
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Broken Hill, Australia
Died: March 28, 2006

A self-taught artist, Pro Hart pioneered the Australian Outback painting movement. While he began sketching at age 7, he later painted rural life and religious subjects. He also invented balloon painting and cannon painting and experimented with sculpting, too. He was also passionate collector of vintage cars.

 18 Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan
Famous As: Author, Artist
Birthdate: January 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Perth, Western Australia

Sally Morgan is an Australian dramatist, author, and artist. Counted among the important Australian Aboriginal figures, Morgan is respected for her work and has been honored with several awards like Human Rights Literature and Other Writing Award. Her works are showcased in several public and private collections around the world. Morgan’s work is also displayed at the Australian National Gallery.

 19 Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1932 AD
Birthplace: Alice Springs, Australia
Died: June 21, 2002

One of the most popular Aboriginal artists from Australia, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri was raised in the Australian bush and later often depicted the terrain in his paintings. Starting his career as a carver, he later became part of the Aboriginal Art Movement. Dreamings remains one of his best-known paintings.

 20 Russell Drysdale

Russell Drysdale
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 7, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bognor Regis, England
Died: June 29, 1981

English-born Australian artist Russell Drysdale, also known as Tass Drysdale, showed a major influence of abstract and surreal art in his works. One of the most well-known modern painters, who mostly depicted the rural landscapes, he was also a skilled photographer. He had started painting as therapy after an eye operation.

 21 Elizabeth Durack

Elizabeth Durack
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 6, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Died: May 25, 2000

One of the most controversial Australian artists, Elizabeth Durack was known for her unconventional portraits of Papuan women, far removed from the sexualized depictions of such indigenous women previously seen in art. She also drew flak after painting under an Aboriginal pseudonym, Eddie Burrup, which she believed was her alter ego.

 22 H.M. Bateman

H.M. Bateman
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 15, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sutton Forest, Australia
Died: February 11, 1970

Known as an innovative cartoonist, H.M. Bateman soared to fame with his The Man Who... series of cartoons, which were a regular in the British weekly Punch. His humorous depictions of social gaffes, portrayed through mostly wordless strips, were also published in The Bystander, The Humorist, and The Tatler.

 23 Bernie McGann

Bernie McGann
Famous As: Saxophone Player
Birthdate: June 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Granville, Australia
Died: September 17, 2013

Bernie McGann was an Australian musician and alto saxophone player. McGann, who led the famous Bernie McGann Quartet and Trio, was also active as a composer, recording artist, and performer till the end of his life. Between 1993 and 2001, he was honored with four ARIA Music Awards. In 2008, McGann was inducted into the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame.

 24 Georges LeBar

Georges LeBar
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Better known as American drag queen RuPaul Charles’s husband, Georges LeBar is an accomplished painter who has held many exhibitions. He also owns a ranch in Wyoming and had met RuPaul at a nightclub. The camera-shy Australian initially worked in the fashion industry and has also penned two books.