Painter, sculptor and printmaker Colin Lanceley was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and arrived in Australia in 1940. He completed a diploma of painting at the National Art School in Sydney between 1954 and 1960. He exhibited his colourful works incorporating three dimensional recycled material with the Annandale imitation realists from 1962.
In 1964 he was awarded the Helena Rubenstein Travelling Scholarship and travelled to Italy in 1965. Lanceley lived and worked in London during the 1960’s and 1970’s, returning to Australia in the 1980’s. He held annual exhibitions in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe from the 1962, including a solo print exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London in 1976. A large survey exhibition of Lanceley’s work was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1987 and then a further exhibition ‘Australian Collection Focus - Colin Lanceley’ in 2001.
Lanceley’s work was included in several group exhibitions including Perspecta at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1983, the Biennale of Sydney in 1986 and the Great Australian Art Exhibition in 1988. Lanceley was awarded an Order of Australia in 1990 and was a board member of the National Gallery of Australia from 1995 - 1999. He was awarded the Young Contemporaries Prize by MOMAD in 1963, the Scottish Arts Council Prize at the Edinburgh Festival in 1967 and two prizes at the Cracow International Print Biennale in 1968. He was awarded an Australia Council creative arts fellowship in 1991. Since 1966 Lanceley has lectured extensively in painting and drawing in the United Kingdom and Australia.
His work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; most state galleries and several regional and university galleries. Internationally his work is held in public collections in the United States and Europe including the Tate Museum, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; MOMA, New York and the Guggenheim, New York.