Born in Melbourne in 1938, Jon Plapp obtained a BA from Melbourne University in 1959. He left Australia in 1962 for further study in the United States, and obtained a PhD in psychology from Washington University, St Louis Missouri, USA, in 1967. It was at Washington University’s Department of Fine Arts that Plapp began to study life drawing and painting, from 1966 to 1968. In 1968 Plapp settled in Toronto, Canada, where he emerged as an artist. Through the David Mirvish Gallery, Plapp met New York painters Frankenthaler, Poons, Motherwell, Olitski and Dzubas, sculptor Anthony Caro, and Toronto painter Jack Bush. As a result of his exposure to these artists and their work, the New York school of post-painterly abstraction became the strongest influence on Plapp as he began to develop a professional identity as an artist. In 1976 Plapp shared a studio with Toronto painters David Bolduc and Paul Sloggett. Jon Plapp returned to Australia and settled in Sydney in 1977.
'As well as being notably dedicated to his art, Plapp was equally committed to his work as a psychologist in the Rivendell Child and Adolescent Unit at Concord Hospital. Terence Maloon, in the essay for the catalogue of a posthumous survey of Plapp’s work at Watters Gallery in 2009, noted that Plapp’s art expressed many of the intuitive responses of the psychologist: an alertness to tone, energy of expression, alternations of emphasis, meaningful silences — and the implications behind them — are the key to the paintings as to the psychologist’s work of diagnosis. More practically, Plapp’s career in psychology gave him the freedom to hold onto his ideal of art for art’s sake with no fiscal requirements riding on his art practice.' (extract from https://www.daao.org.au/bio/john-plapp-1/biography/)