Anthea Callen trained as a painter and print maker before establishing her career in art history (see CV
). She maintains a varied art practice focused primarily on painting, drawing and collage (see GALLERY
). Callen was a Visiting Professor in the Painting Workshop (2010), then Professor of Practice-led Research and Deputy Head (2011-2014) at the School of Art and Design, Australian National University, Canberra.
Anthea Callen's primary interests as a painter are the human figure and its forms, and still life, studied through drawing and colour in a wide range of mixed media including oils, pastel, watercolour, inks, graphite. She undertakes portrait commissions. Throughout her career she has maintained a collage practice exploring non-figurative questions of colour, composition and space, and since 2000 she has painted abstracts in acrylics on hand-made paper and on canvas.
Callen's practice is informed by her art-historical expertise, and vice versa
. This includes her specialist knowledge of historical artists' materials and techniques, and her understanding of the human figure. The correspondence is particularly relevant to her colour work and figure painting. She has studied artistic anatomy as well as formal life drawing from the human figure, and maintains a regular practice in this field. This parallels her art historical research into the role of anatomical dissection in art and medicine, as well as artists' training in the field, which form the basis of her latest book Looking at Men: Art, Anatomy and the Modern Male Body
for Yale University Press (2018) . She has researched and written on painters' studios in nineteenth-century France, and recently published a monograph on 'plein air' landscape painting. (BOOKS
Anthea Callen began exhibiting her work regularly in the early 1990s. She has had several one-woman shows and participates in group shows. Her work is in private collections in the UK, France, Canada and Australia.