BIOGRAPHY : LIZ COATS

Liz Coats is an abstract painter who has been exhibiting in solo and group shows since the mid-1970s. She works in series’ that explore enduring questions about colour perception and spatial relations. 

Liz initially studied visual art at the Elam School of Art in Auckland, New Zealand, receiving a Diploma of Fine Art in 1968. Having spent five years of early childhood in both Sydney and Melbourne in 1974, she returned to Sydney and then Melbourne, meeting with women artists who were emerging professionally, and linking with women artists in other parts of the world.

Her first solo exhibition (Chameleons) was held in 1977 at the George Paton Gallery of Melbourne University Union, at a time when the gallery was supporting emerging women artists and experimental artists internationally.

From the beginning of 1979, for six months, Liz travelled in Europe and the USA, researching visual art and especially abstract painting. Liz has continued to exhibit regularly, mainly in Australia, with exhibitions in New Zealand, Japan, China, and elsewhere.

In 1989, Liz received an Artist’s Fellowship from the Australian Visual Arts Board, and in 1999, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant from New York. She was the first artist in residence at the Australian Visual Arts Board Studio in Tokyo in 1987, and received an Asialink Residency at the Beijing Art Academy in 1998.

In 1997 Liz completed a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from the College of Fine Arts, (COFA), University of NSW, with a scholarship to research painting on glass. In 2009 she began a doctorate at the School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, with a University Research Scholarship. The research included an Exegesis titled: Organic growth and form in abstract painting and an exhibition completed in 2012. Between 2016 and 2018, she was a Visiting Fellow at the ANU School of Art. 

A survey exhibition, Liz Coats – Active Seeing, curated by Tony Oates, was held at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, between October and December 2017. A book: Liz Coats - Active Seeing, was published by ANU Drill Hall Gallery Publishing, Canberra, to coincide with the exhibition. In 2018, Liz received a Canberra Critics’ Circle Visual Art Award.

Liz’s paintings are held in numerous public and private collections, including the Australian National Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, and the Auckland City Art Gallery.

Liz works at the Strathnairn Studios in Canberra. Since 2009 she has participated in field research projects in the ACT and regional Australia, with exhibitions on environmental issues. Her commercial gallery is Utopia Art Sydney.

Please see the CV page for further information.

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