A major collection of artworks by Australian-born artist Denise Green AM was donated to The University of Queensland in 2013. Denise Green’s husband Dr Francis X. Claps MD gave the substantial group of works, which span the artist’s career, through The University of Queensland in America, Inc. Foundation.

Dr Claps’s gift of 80 works on paper and 36 paintings by Denise Green is the most valuable gift of Australian art that the University has ever received. The Collection includes works made from 1972 until 2010, and will benefit students, scholars of Australian art, as well as the general community.

Denise Green was born in Melbourne and grew up in Brisbane. She later studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1969 she settled in New York, where she completed a Master of Fine Arts at Hunter College, The City University of New York (CUNY). Her work first came to attention in 1978 in the exhibition New image painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, breaking the Museum’s tradition of only exhibiting works by American artists.

Retrospectives of Denise Green’s work have been held in major museums from P.S.1 Center for Contemporary Art/Museum of Modern Art, New York, to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and numerous exhibitions in the USA, Europe and Australia. A survey of her work was presented at the Brisbane City Gallery (now the Museum of Brisbane) in 2001, and her work featured in a project show at the UQ Art Museum in 2005.

Denise Green is the author of Metonymy in contemporary art: A new paradigm (Minnesota, 2005) and Denise Green: An artist’s odyssey (Minnesota, 2012).

In 2007 she was awarded the Order of Australia for service to the arts, particularly as an abstract painter and as an author, and through the promotion of Australian art and artists internationally. 

Dr Claps began collecting key works by Ms Green early in her career, long before they were married. He had a distinguished career in New York City as a cardiologist. 

The artist encouraged her husband to donate the works to The University of Queensland to acknowledge the city where she grew up. Initially they had planned for the donation to occur posthumously but, as their discussions evolved, decided to accelerate the gift so that it was made during their life time.

The UQ Art Museum celebrated the Collection with a major exhibition and publication in late 2016.

Collection Online

  •  View The Denise Green / Francis X. Claps Collection on the UQ Art Collection Online here

Denise Green
#1 Blue Wash 1996
watercolour, ink and pastel
49.7 cm x 64.6 cm
The Denise Green / Francis X. Claps Collection gifted through The University of Queensland in America, Inc. Foundation. The University of Queensland, 2013.
Photo: Carl Warner
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane.