About this artwork

Despite the fact that the men in this painting all share the same small space, they seem completely isolated from each other. This gives the painting a sense of unease and claustrophobia which is central to Conroy’s work of the 1980s. Moreover, as the narrative behind the picture is unclear, the viewer is led to question the identity and purpose of the men. The scene is dramatically lit, as if the figures are on stage, creating shadows which add to the air of mystery. Open-mouthed figures appear frequently in Conroy’s paintings of the mid to late 1980s, as do men with blank glasses. Unable to see their eyes and thus read their expression, the viewer feels further distanced from the scene.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Healing of a Lunatic Boy
  • date created:
    1986
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    122.00 x 91.40 cm; Framed: 137.80 x 107.80 x 4.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1987
  • accession number:
    GMA 3039
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Stephen Conroy

Stephen Conroy