Famous Australian Artists & Painters

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 Poh Ling Yeow

Poh Ling Yeow
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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.

 2 Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira
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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 Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery
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Famous As: Contemporary Artist & Fashion Designer Known for His Flamboyant & Outlandish Costumes & Makeup
Birthdate: March 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died: December 31, 1994
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 4 Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan
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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 Nadya Hutagalung

Nadya Hutagalung
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: July 28, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Indonesian-Australian actor-model Nadya Hutagalung soared to fame as an MTV VJ. Now a prominent conservationist, she has also been a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador. She was associated with the documentary Let Elephants Be Elephants, owns a sustainable jewelry brand, and works for the environmental betterment of Sumatra.

 6 Patricia Piccinini

Patricia Piccinini
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Famous As: Contemporary Artist Who Represented Australia at the 50th Venice Biennale
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Freetown, Sierra Leone

 7 Craig Nicholls

Craig Nicholls
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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.

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 8 Steve Kilbey

Steve Kilbey
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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. 

 9 Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts
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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.

 10 Brett Whiteley

Brett Whiteley
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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

Stelarc
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Limassol, Cyprus

 12 Margaret Preston

Margaret Preston
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Famous As: Former painter and printmaker who is regarded as one of Australia's leading modernists of the early 20th century
Birthdate: April 29, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Port Adelaide, Australia
Died: May 28, 1963

 13 Arthur Boyd

Arthur Boyd
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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 Vali Myers

Vali Myers
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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.

 15 Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
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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.

 16 Martin Sharp

Martin Sharp
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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.

 17 Pro Hart

Pro Hart
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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
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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
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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 Pat Oliphant

Pat Oliphant
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Famous As: Artist who is particularly known for his caricatures of American presidents and other powerful leaders
Birthdate: July 24, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia

 21 Michael Pacher

Michael Pacher
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1435 AD
Birthplace: Bruneck, Italy
Died: 1498 AD

One of the first to introduce Renaissance elements in Germany, Michael Pacher was a renowned Gothic painter and wood carver. Best known for works such as St. Wolfgang Altarpiece, he was a master of painting frescoes and carving altar centerpieces. His later masterpieces include Betrothal of the Virgin.

 22 Russell Drysdale

Russell Drysdale
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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.

 23 Elizabeth Durack

Elizabeth Durack
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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.

 24 H.M. Bateman

H.M. Bateman
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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.

 25 Clement Meadmore

Clement Meadmore
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: April 19, 2005

Australian-American sculptor Clement Meadmore initially studied aeronautical engineering and then industrial design and then designed furniture for a while, before focusing on sculpting. He is known for his colossal public commissions. A lover of jazz and a drummer, too, he often names his creations after jazz tracks.

 26 Rayner Hoff

Rayner Hoff
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Famous As: Former Sculptor chiefly known for his war memorial work, particularly the sculptures on the ANZAC War Memorial in Sydney
Birthdate: November 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Isle of Man
Died: November 19, 1937

 27 Bernie McGann

Bernie McGann
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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.

 28 Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula

Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1925 AD
Birthplace: Minjilpiri, Australia
Died: February 12, 2001

Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula was an Australian painter best remembered as one of the finest among Australian Aboriginal artists. His work has been collected with great interest since the late 1960s and is preserved in important Australian galleries and museums, such as the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the National Museum of Australia.

 29 Georges LeBar

Georges LeBar
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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.