Keith Looby was born in Sydney, New South Wales in 1940, and attended the National Art School, Sydney between 1955 and 1959. In 1960 he sailed for Naples, Italy and over the next seven years travelled throughout the Continent and the United Kingdom visiting galleries and museums whilst continuing to paint. Throughout the mid 1960s Looby travelled between London and Italy and in 1964 the artist held his first solo exhibition at the Carpini Gallery, Rome. A year later he held a second exhibition in Italy - with Viotto Gallery in Turin.Read More
At the suggestion, and with the assistance, of Jeffrey Smart, Looby returned to Australia in 1967 to show with Macquarie Galleries, Sydney. Since then he has continued to exhibit widely throughout the country including Argus Gallery, Melbourne (1968); The Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane (1969, 1971); Von Bertouch, Newcastle (1970, 1975, 2002); Macquarie Galleries, Sydney (1970, 1974) and Canberra ( 1975); Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne (1970); John Gild Gallery, Perth (1972); Abraxis Gallery, Canberra (1976); Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (1983, 1984); Praxis Art Gallery, Perth (1986); Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane (1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987) and Sydney (1986, 1988, 1989, 1992,1996,1998); Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne (2001); Bond University Art Gallery, Queensland (2003); Hardware Gallery, Sydney (2002, 2006); and Heiser Gallery, Brisbane (2005).
Awards and prizes the artist has been the recipient of include the Archibald Prize (1984); Dalby Art Prize (1978); Mornington Peninsula Drawing Prize (1976); Swan Hill Pioneer Art Prize and the Latrobe Valley Purchase Prize (1975); Sulman Prize (1974); Blake Prize For Religious Art (1973); Georges Invitation Art Awards (1971,1973), and the D’Arcy Morris Memorial Prize (1969, 1970, 1972). In 1981 Looby received an Australia Council New York studio residency, whilst in 1973 – 1974 he was artist in residence at the Australian National University. In 1992 Looby was named Canberra Artist of the Year.
Collections that hold Looby’s work include the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, New York, QUT Art Museum, Geelong Art Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, and Swan Hill Regional Gallery.
Text courtesy Heiser Gallery.