Garry Shead 'Italy'

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From the Lucio collection, Garry Shead’s Italy is an ode to iconic restaurateur Lucio Galletto, whose Sydney restaurant was a much beloved haunt for artists for over twenty-five years. It was painted the year before Shead and Adrienne Levenson submitted their collaborative portrait of Lucio to the Archibald Prize.

Like his entry to the Archibald, Italy sees Shead paint a Lucio-esque figure in Ameglia, the Italian town where the restaurateur was raised. In the foreground lie a roasted snapper and glass of white wine, both reminiscent of long lunches at Lucio’s. Like the best of Shead’s work it is poetic, replete with a ghostly silhouette of Dante who wrote part ‘The divine comedy’ in Ameglia.

At Lucio’s, meals were always served with a side of art. The walls were adorned with works by John Olsen, Sidney Nolan and Shead, imparted across the restaurant’s lifetime – a tradition started when Nolan scrawled a Ned Kelly on the verso of his receipt. Lucio, Shead recalls, “makes you feel so welcome. He treats everyone like family and makes them feel special.”

Collected by all public institutions, Shead has won the Archibald and Dobell prizes. For fans of Shead, Lucio’s and feasts both visual and culinary, Italy is sumptuous.

Garry SHEAD (1942 - )
'Italy' 2008
oil on board
Image Size: 53 x 74 cm
Dimensions: 60 x 81 x 4 cm
Signed: Signed 'Garry Shead' and dated lower left
Comes with Letter of Provenance

Garry Shead and Adrienne Levenson, Soffritto di Lucio 2009, oil on linen,183.3 x 198.2 cm. Finalist, Archibald Prize 2009, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. 

Condition is Very Good: Describes a work of art's image as Excellent, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear to paper or frame. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to the paint surface.

(C) Garry Shead / Copyright Agency 2023