DONE, Ken

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Born 29 June 1940, in Sydney, top international artist Ken Done left school at 14 to enter the National Art School in East Sydney. After 5 years of study, he commenced a highly successful career as an art director and designer in New York, London and Sydney. 

Ken Done's first solo exhibition was held in Sydney in 1980. Since then, he has held over 50 one-man shows, including major exhibitions in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA. His work has been described as the most original style to come out of Australia, and his paintings are in collections throughout the world. Over the past few years, Ken has devoted most of his time to painting. Major projects in a very diverse career include the painting of a BMW Artcar, and the total decorative scheme for the Garden Restaurant at the Powerhouse Museum, in Sydney.

In 1994, a major retrospective Ken Done: the Art of Design was mounted by the Powerhouse. The artist's first European exhibition was held in Paris, in 1996 to great acclaim. In 2000 and 2001 collections of Ken Done's original work were successfully premiered in Los Angeles and San Francisco and two sell-out shows were held in London. An original Ken Done work has featured on the cover of the weekly Japanese magazine Hanako for over ten years, and in recent times Ken has also become involved in the movement toward a new Australian flag.

In 1999, Done was asked to create a series of works for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies programs of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In 1992, Ken received the Order of Australia (A.M.), for services to Art, Design and Tourism. In many parts of the world, Ken Done has come to symbolise Australia and Australians: creative, optimistic and bold.

Balman Gallery hosted the first Ken Done exhibition outside of London in 2011.