30 Jan 2020

Vale Annette Bezor

1950 - 2020

16 January 2020


It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of one of Australia’s most celebrated painters, Annette Bezor on 9 January 2020, after a long and courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

In a career spanning almost four decades since graduating from SA School of Art in the late 1970’s, Bezor established herself as one of Australia’s most original and thought-provoking painters, showcasing an extensive number of exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally.

The Art Gallery of South Australia hold several early works by the artist in its collection, and her paintings were included in group exhibitions by Adelaide’s Samstag Museum of Art in 2006 and 2017.  Over the span of her career, Bezor was a finalist in prestigious national art prizes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, including the Archibald Prize, (2005), the Sulman Prize (2002, 2008 & 2009) and the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2010).

Her international exhibition credits include Hong Kong,  Spain (ARCO International Art Fair, Greenaway Art Gallery), Taipei (International Art Fair with Greenaway At Gallery) and New York with a notable career highlight securing a review in the New York Times in 2009, in which the art critic commented in particular on the work ‘Blush’, an arresting, large scale nude painting (5 metre long) , featured in an exhibition at Florence Lynch Gallery, NY.in association with Greenaway Art Gallery.

Her final exhibitions ‘Ricochet’ of mostly new paintings was held at Hill Smith Gallery in October 2019, with a companion retrospective exhibition of earlier major works showing at Aptos Cruz Gallery ‘Ricochet 2’.  These two exhibitions combined to stand as testament to her skill and relevance as an artist, as well as her tenacity and strength in the face of a debilitating illness.  

Director of HSG Margo Hill-Smith said “We have lost a great character and a true bohemian whose devotion to her art practice was captive to her great theme of investigating the problematic nature of beauty and celebrity.  A wonderful person, resolute and ambitious with her own vision, she will be missed and leaves an amazing legacy in her paintings for us all.”

Lisa Slade, Director of Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of SA commented “Celebrated as one of South Australia’s most talented painters, Annette Bezor’s compelling works challenged the traditions of portraiture and the reproduced image.  Rising to acclaim in the 1980s, Bezor experimented with portraiture to critique society’s assumptions around gender, race, commodification and power.  A much loved and admired member of the arts community, Annette will be greatly missed.”