Donald Friend

Donald Friend (1915-1989)

was a gifted painter and writer, known internationally for his paintings and drawings of figure subjects in particular and for the diaries he wrote for most of his life which were published after his death by the National Library of Australia. He was born in Cremorne, Sydney, Australia and studied art there from 1931-35 and later in London at the Westminster School of Art 1936-37. Friend shared a joint show with others, including Sickert and Augustus John, at the Bond Street gallery of R E A Wilson on 1937. Wilson was his first major dealer and Friend had a solo show at his gallery in 1938. During the late 1930s and early 1940s Friend travelled extensively, including to West Africa and back to Australia, where he joined the Australian Army. In 1945 Friend was commissioned as an Official War Artist and he accompanied an invasion force in Borneo 1945. His work was exhibited at the Macquarie Galleries in Australia and on returning to London in 1949 he was invited to exhibit with the Redfern Gallery, an association which continued for some years. Friend travelled widely and in the 1950s he visited Italy and Greece a number of times and spent some time in Sri Lanka from the late 1950s. He lived in Bali from 1968 until 1980 following which he returned to Australia. A major retrospective show was held in 1990 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

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