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Pamela Bell

(b Mosman, NSW, April 23, 1908; d Emu Plains, NSW, Feb 20, 1978).

Australian painter, textile designer, and sculptor. From 1925 to 1929 she studied in Sydney with Anthony Dattilo Rubbo (1870–1955), an Italian-born academic painter whose students were significant in the development of modernism in Australia. In 1933 Lewers studied at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts, and met Herbert Read and the artists of Unit One. Her works during the 1930s included Bauhaus-inspired domestic artefacts, such as pottery, modernist timber furniture, and hand-printed fabrics. After World War II she continued her studies in Sydney with the Hungarian artist Desiderius Orban (1884–1986), who had himself studied at the Académie Julian in Paris when Cubism was developing. Lewers took up his Aristotelian ideas based on the essence of the object. She was influenced by Vieira da Silva and later Afro, whose paintings were exhibited in Sydney, and also by colleagues who followed the ideas of Dynamic Symmetry. However, she did not study modernist theory herself but worked intuitively and was not part of any artistic group or movement....