John Perceval, Revised edition
Melbourne University Press, 2015.
John Perceval was a gifted and exuberant artist whose alcoholism eventually destroyed his life and his talent. I knew him well and this book brings an engaging and exasperating personality back to life.
Barry Humphries, July 2015.
This book presents a powerful insight into the art of John Perceval, and reminds us what a strong and fascinating artist he was.
Gerard Vaughan, Director,
National Gallery of Australia, July 2015.
Taking a new approach to the life and legacy of John Perceval, John Perceval: Art and Life re-examines the precocious artist and his role in the Australian art scene. With charm that matched his talent, Perceval’s presence did not go unnoticed, finding friends such as Normal Lindsay, Clifton Pugh and the Boyd family, to a wider circle that included Barry Humphries and Germaine Greer.
In this fully revised and refreshing analysis of Perceval’s art in his younger life, Allen argues against the label of Perceval as just a younger follower of his contemporaries, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker and Fred Williams. Instead Allen examines Perceval’s practice in greater detail, demonstrating times when he acted in the role of mentor in the art scene. With past snapshots of Perceval in the studio and with his family integrated amongst his artworks, the book is a multi-layered account of the people and influences that played major roles in the artist’s life. Lucy Stranger, Arts Journalist,
Artist Profile magazine, Nov. 2015
Allen’s lavishly illustrated biography paints a detailed portrait of an Angry Penguin who harnessed his demons to further his art.
West Weekend Magazine 7 Nov. 2015.