Euan Heng

Australian Galleries

Unlike other painters who came into vogue in the ’80s. Scottish-Chinese artist Euan Heng made works that, even then, were neither wild nor spectral. For a start, they were self-consciously Mediterranean, in the tradition of Matisse and Léger—but gray. His bewildered but purposeful gentle giants and world-weary office workers, depicted through a synthesis of Christian and Classical heroic models. seemed half-human, half-animal. Though he was loosely associated with the dramatic but now docked expressionist efflorescence in Scottish painting, Heng had been resident in Australia since 1977. Here, where his images of uncertain souls plodding across the universe were far too easily conflated with the capricious, quickly dated neo-expressionist desire for elegant bombast, he has endured a sleeper reputation.

Heng’s obstinate pictures have changed very little over the years, except that they have

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