John Rigby News

John Rigby passed away on 18 October 2012, less than eight weeks short of his 90th birthday.
Sydney Morning Herald Obituary, 29 November 2012.

John Rigby’s Next Show – Sydney – 28 February – 26 March 2009

The next solo exhibition of John Rigby is currently scheduled for its formal opening on 3 March 2009 at the Wagner Art Gallery, 39 Gurner Street, Paddington, Sydney, NSW. Phone (02) 9360 6069. Fax (02) 9361 5492. From overseas, please phone +61 2 9360 6069.

Email contact details for John Rigby:



Palm Bay (Bougainvillea), 2006John Rigby’s return to Melbourne, Victoria

John Rigby will be having his first solo exhibition in Victoria in nearly 40 years. The show will be at Melbourne’s Pollock Gallery from the 9th to the 31st of March, 2007. It will include a range of works spanning from the 1980s to 2006. It will be opened by longtime friend and fellow artist Andrew Sibley.

Pollock Gallery, 270 Church Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121.

Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm; Sunday: 12 noon to 5pm; Other times by appointment.

Phone (03) 9427 0003, Mobile 0401 256 992

Left: Palm Bay, Whitsundays, acrylic on canvas, 2006

John Rigby with the Queensland Governor at his recent exhibition.

Queensland Governor’s visit to John Rigby’s Brisbane Exhibition

Queensland’s Governor spent an hour viewing John Rigby’s exhibition at Gallery G in Brisbane during August 2006.

In the photograph at right, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce and John Rigby are seen in front of a painting done on Thursday Island off the tip of Cape York, Queensland.

(2008 Note: Quentin Byrce is now Australia’s Governor General.)


John Rigby in his studioSolo Exhibition – Brisbane, July 16 – August 12, 2006

An exhibition of works by John Rigby will be on show at the Gallery G (formerly Galloway Galleries) in Brisbane.

The exhibition will feature recent works and earlier paintings. Some of the works for sale are reproduced in
John Rigby – Art and Life

Gallery G, 34 Brookes Street, Bown Hills, Brisbane.
Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-4pm; Monday: Closed to Public; Sunday and evenings: by Appointment
Phone (07) 3852 1425.

Solo Exhibition – Gold Coast, January-February 2005

A major exhibition of more than 60 paintings by John Rigby is on show until February 14 at Art Gallery Collections on Queensland’s Gold Coast. A selection of works will continue to be available for viewing after this date.

Many recent works are included, as well as a variety of earlier paintings, illustrating forays into the landscape, the human image, still life, and abstractions. Some of the works for sale are reproduced in John Rigby – Art and Life, which is also available for purchase at the gallery.

Art Gallery Collections, Ground Floor, Piazza On The Boulevard, Elkorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Phone (07) 5538 3724. Open seven days a week.

Solo Exhibition – Sydney, March 2004

An exhibition of John Rigby work will be on show at Sydney’s Wagner Art Gallery from 6 March to 1 April. The exhibition features a wide range of works, including some of north Queensland painted during 2003. A number of the works are reproduced in the new book, John Rigby – Art and Life, which is also available for purchase at the gallery.

Gallery hours are from 10.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday, and 1 pm to 6 pm Sunday. Wagner Art Gallery, 39 Gurner Street, Paddington, Sydney, NSW. Phone (02) 9360 6069. Fax (02) 9361 5492. From overseas, please phone +61 2 9360 6069.

Margaret RigbyExhibition – John Rigby Portraits

The new Museum of Brisbane located in City Hall has mounted an exhibition of 23 paintings by John Rigby spanning the period from 1950s to the 1990s.

Many were finalists or winning entries in the Australian Women’s Weekly Art Prize (an international prize in the 1950s), the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship, the Archibald Prize, and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

The exhibition runs from 9 January to 20 February, 2004, and is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

John Rigby book cover

John Rigby – Art and Life

A major book on the art and life of John Rigby was launched at the Queensland Art Gallery by its Director Doug Hall on 26 November 2003. Among those attending were personaltities from the arts, education and sport.

Mr Hall said during his remarks that: “There are two institutions that have been around a long time, one is the Queensland Art Gallery and, for the second half of the 20th century, the other has been John Rigby as an enduring presence in Queensland public culture.”

The 239-page publication (right) details his life and career, as well as featuring more than 200 of his artworks spanning the period from the 1940s to mid-2003.

Visit the page John Rigby – Art and Life for more details.

(News item updated: 30 November 2003)

Art & Life

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) ran a feature on 28 October 2003 in which John Rigby explained how he paints and how students can get the most out of artworks. The newspaper also ran activities for students and teachers written by John Rigby on their web site and these may be found by visiting Headstart activites and looking under the archives of activities for 28 October 2003.

Back to painting in North Queensland

After a long diversion with matters relating to a forthcoming book about his life and art, John Rigby was back in the field painting on islands off the north Queensland coast during June 2003 after judging an art contest in Mackay. A considerable volume of work was created on location for exhibiting in 2004. Two of the paintings are featured in the new book on John Rigby.

Out of Australia: Contemporary Aboriginal and Australian Painters

John Rigby is represented in a mixed exhibition at the Visual Arts Centre, 7A Kennedy Road, Central Hong Kong, between September 12 and 20, 2001. The exhibition is being opened by Mr. Bill Tweddell, Australian Consul General in Hong Kong. Hours are 10 am to 9 pm daily. Contact is Shirley Wagner on 2521-7882.

Toledo, SpainMost Recent Solo Exhibition:
October/November, 2000

An exhibition at Sydney’s Wagner Art Gallery showcased recent Rigby paintings, including figurative works, abstracts, and scenes of Queensland, Spain, Italy and Fiji. (At right is the painting Toledo, Spain which featured in the exhibition. Visit this LINK to see a selection of other works from the exhibition.)

The Wagner Art Gallery has some Rigby works in stock. Gallery hours are from 10.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday. Wagner Art Gallery, 39 Gurner Street, Paddington, Sydney, NSW. Phone (02) 9360 6069. Fax (02) 9361 5492. From overseas, please phone +61 2 9360 6069.

Leroy Loggins
A Recent Portrait
Featured here is a John Rigby portrait of Leroy Loggins who was, until recently, a National Basketball League player with the Brisbane Bullets.

Leroy posed for the portrait during February 2000 at the height of the basketball season.

A larger image of the portrait is available in the portrait section of this web site.

Long Forgotten
During September and October 1999, John Rigby, his wife Margaret and son Mark made a nostalgic trip back to Italy where they had spent a year in 1956/57 as part of John’s Italian Government Painting Scholarship. During the latest trip, they returned to Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, and to their amazement, the owners of one of the major hotels produced a Rigby original from 1957. The photograph shows the painting being briefly reunited with its painter after some 42 years.

The Farewell


Sir John Sulman Prize Finalist

John Rigby’s painting The Farewell, depicted at right, was a finalist in the 1999 Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Rigby won the Sulman Prize in 1962 with the genre painting Children Dancing selected by judge Sir Russell Drysdale. This year’s entry is an oil on canvas, 152 x 182 cm.

Mark Philippoussis

Jeans for Genes
To assist in raising money for the Children’s Medical Research Institute in Australia, John Rigby was invited to paint on the autographed jeans of tennis player Mark Philippoussis.

The jeans, shown at right, were later mounted and framed for auction along with a selection of jeans belonging to other celebrities, by Sotheby’s auctioneer Justin Miller at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on July 29, 1999.

All proceeds went to the Children’s Medical Research Institute which is recognised internationally for its work in unlocking the mysteries of genetic disorders.


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