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Article

New Zealander, 20th century, male.

Born 9 June 1906, in Westport; died 15 April 1971, in London.

Painter, printmaker, graphic designer.

Artists' International Association, London Group.

James Boswell came to England to study at London's Royal Academy in 1925. In 1933 he joined the Communist Party and became a founder member of the ...

Article

Bridget Whitelaw

(b St Petersburg, May 9, 1828; d London, March 15, 1902).

Swiss painter and illustrator of Russian birth, active in Australia. He spent his childhood in Russia and in 1845 returned to his father’s home town, Lausanne, where he studied painting at the Musée Arlaud under J. G. Guignard (1811–97). In 1851 he moved to London where he studied lithography under Ludwig Gruner, and in 1853–4 he studied watercolour painting in Rome. He arrived in Australia on 25 December 1854 and, after visiting the goldfields, started working as an illustrator for local newspapers. His work was politically perceptive rather than skilled in its draughtsmanship. Between 1858 and 1864 he accompanied scientific expeditions into the wilderness. Some of the studies made on these trips served as preparatory sketches for his grandiose landscape The Buffalo Ranges (exh. 1864; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria), the first Australian painting purchased for the National Gallery of Victoria.

In November 1865 Chevalier visited New Zealand and explored the South Island for eight months, completing several hundred sketches and watercolours that reveal his brilliance in this field. Chevalier was a founder-member of the Victorian Society for the Fine Arts in Melbourne, where his house provided a centre for the city’s artistic and literary élite. However, he left for London in ...

Article

Robert Smith

(b Melbourne, Oct 4, 1913; d Melbourne, July 5, 1986).

Australian painter, printmaker, draughtsman, sculptor, cartoonist and illustrator. Largely self-taught, he began printmaking in 1931 and worked as a caricaturist, cartoonist and illustrator for the weekly and left-wing press, his outlook influenced by experience on the dole and political struggle during the Depression. In 1941 he began oil painting, his first pictures being mainly a celebration of Australian working-class tenacity during the 1930s: for example At the Start of the March (1944; Sydney, A.G. NSW). A founder-member of the Contemporary Art Society in 1938, he initiated its 1942 anti-Fascist exhibition and helped organize an Artists’ Unity Congress, receiving awards for his paintings of miners in the ensuing Australia at War exhibition in 1945. From 1939 to 1940 he was in New Zealand and from 1949 to 1952 in Europe, mostly London. Later he made frequent trips to Britain and France, as well as visiting the USSR and Mexico.

Counihan’s imaginative and creative versatility enabled him to produce extended pictorial metaphors for inherent contemporary crises, embodying potent artistic responses to specific conditions of oppression and discrimination, the nuclear threat and attendant social alienation. From the late 1960s he created images in numerous interrelated series challenging Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, for example ...

Article

Janda Gooding

(b Perth, July 6, 1915; d Perth, May 25, 2000).

Australian painter and book illustrator. Grand-daughter of a pioneer pastoralist of the Kimberley region in Western Australia, she first saw the Kimberley in her teens and was profoundly influenced by contact with the indigenous people. Working with her sister, Mary Durack (1913–94), she produced many illustrated children’s books that drew upon the lives and stories of indigenous children. The most popular children’s book was The Way of the Whirlwind (1941). Travel to Europe in 1936 and 1937 allowed her an opportunity to see great art collections and, during another visit in 1955, she studied briefly at the Chelsea Polytechnic in London. Durack’s first solo exhibition was in 1946, with an exhibition held in Perth of pictures of the north-west of Western Australia. Indigenous people of Western Australia were prominent subjects in this and many of her later exhibitions throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She spent much time in indigenous communities sketching Aborigines in remote camps or fringe settlements near towns....

Article

Gavin Fry

(Stuart Leslie)

(b Warialda, NSW, Feb 6, 1915; d Sydney, Aug 17, 1989).

Australian illustrator, painter and writer. He studied under Dattilo Rubbo (1871–1955) in Sydney before travelling to London to work (1935–6) under Mark Gertler and Bernard Meninsky (1891–1950). Extensive travel through Africa on his return journey to Australia helped develop his love of the exotic and an interest in non-Western art. In the early 1940s he worked in close association with Russell Drysdale, making a reputation as a talented figure and landscape draughtsman and colourist. He enlisted in the Australian army in 1942 and in 1945 he was commissioned as an Official War Artist, working in New Guinea and Borneo in the last months of World War II. He published two illustrated wartime memoirs, Gunner’s Diary (Sydney, 1943) and Painter’s Journal (Sydney, 1946), which strengthened his reputation as a writer and illustrator of great wit and charm.

After a period working in the small country town of Hill End, Friend left Australia for more than 20 years, living and working first in Sri Lanka and then for an extended period in Bali. Within Australia his work was associated with the ...

Article

(b Birmingham, March 15, 1863; d Waverley, Oct 1, 1930).

Australian painter, etcher and illustrator, also active in England. In his formative years he undertook illustrative commissions for the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, as well as for the Australian Town and Country Journal and other publications. For a time he painted with his friends Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder at their camps around Mosman, or on trips to Richmond and along the Hawkesbury River. In his best paintings of this period he achieved a lyricism and sure handling of paint that resembles the work of Conder. During this period he also became interested in etching. In 1900 he moved to New York and the following year he travelled to London, where he continued to work as a black-and-white artist with the London Graphic and Black and White. He painted landscapes depicting picturesque sights and developed an interest in monotypes, using the delicacy of this medium to create soft, low-key images of atmospheric subjects. He worked in the tradition of English landscape painters, such as John Constable and John Sell Cotman, producing calm, quiet, understated images....

Article

Roger Blackley

(b Bath, bapt March 21, 1819; d Nelson, NZ, Nov 1, 1888).

New Zealand painter of English birth. He arrived in New Plymouth in 1852, first working as a shopkeeper, teaching privately and advertising for commissions. On the outbreak of the Taranaki land wars, Gully moved to Nelson where he again struggled to establish himself as an artist and art teacher, eventually finding full-time work as a draughtsman in the provincial Survey Office. Specializing in lake and mountain views in the style of J. M. W. Turner (e.g. In the Southern Alps, 1881; Wellington, Mus. NZ, Te Papa Tongarewa), and frequently working on a very grand scale, Gully exhibited regularly in New Zealand and Australia, and in Europe. A portfolio of chromolithographs based on his watercolours, New Zealand Scenery, was published in London in 1877. The vast number of works he exhibited, and the high prices he asked for them, indicate that Gully was one of the more successful New Zealand artists of the period....

Article

(b Melbourne, July 31, 1937).

Australian painter. He studied graphic design from 1954 to 1957 at the Swinburne Technical College in Melbourne, where Robert Rooney was a fellow student. For the next two years he worked as a graphic artist for ABC Television in Melbourne and in 1964 had his first one-man show at the Toorak Galleries there. His early work of the mid- to late 1960s was based on a reduction of mundane objects into a geometrical pattern. Untitled (1967–8; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria), for example, is derived from an eiderdown and like many works of this period creates an ambiguity between flatness and depth through trompe l’oeil modelling. This process of reduction was carried to extremes from 1967 to 1970 with, for example, an exhibition of fences in 1969.

Hickey’s interest in mass-produced objects and patterns led to a pictorial search for the essence or archetypes of objects in the 1970s. The Cup Series...

Article

Nadia Tscherny

(b London, Oct 28, 1744; d Brixham, Devon, March 6, 1797).

English painter. He first attended classes at William Shipley’s Academy in the Strand, London, and from 1758 to 1765 was apprenticed to Richard Wilson (about whom he published a short biographical essay in 1790). Hodges followed Wilson’s classical landscape style periodically throughout his career, but, particularly during his travels, he also occasionally abandoned it in favour of freer handling, bolder juxtapositions of colour and a more empirical response to the natural world.

In 1765 Hodges joined the Incorporated Society of Artists and became a regular exhibitor. The Pantheon, Oxford Street, London (Leeds, C.A.G.), an important early example of his interest in architecture and effects of natural light, was exhibited in 1772, as were some views of Switzerland and Germany made from a trip across the Alps the previous year. In 1772 he travelled as the official artist on Capt. James Cook’s second voyage to the South Pacific. As the ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1901, in Annandale, Sydney; died 1981.

Painter. Landscapes, urban landscapes.

George Feather Lawrence served an apprenticeship in the art department of commercial printers, John Sands & Co, then at Smith and Julius commercial art studios. He took classes at the Julian Ashton Art School in the 1920s and in ...

Article

Anne Gray

(b Meckering, W. Australia, March 18, 1926).

Australian painter and printmaker. In his formative years he worked as a graphic designer in Perth, which provided him with a solid technical training. He moved to London in the 1960s where he worked at a screen-printing factory. He was inspired by the abstract tradition of Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly and Joseph Albers. When he first saw their work, the scale of it had an immediate and liberating effect on him and he embarked on a series of large experimental pieces using a combination of pure colour and built-up pigment. He also believed that art must relate to society, or be of use in the community, and to this end he made political posters and trade union banners.

McKay has been consistently experimental in his approach to making art, in his exploration of surface textures, the mystery of lettering and the interplay of colour. He has frequently used text as metaphor and has constructed austere images with meticulously crafted surfaces and created iconic forms out of popular imagery and found objects. His work is abstract, in the Greek or medieval sense of the word, in so far as it contains general and inherent aspects of phenomenon and not its individual or accidental aspects....

Article

(b Hamstead, nr Birmingham, July 12, 1812; d Melbourne, Oct 21, 1895).

English illustrator, draughtsman, writer and painter, active in Australia. She was educated at home and was taught by Thomas Lawrence to paint portrait miniatures on ivory. In 1832, at the age of 20, she earned the respect of Henry Parkes (later Premier of New South Wales, Australia) for her writings in support of the Chartist movement, begun in Birmingham in that year. In 1835 she published her first book, Poems: With Original Illustrations Drawn and Etched by the Authoress (London, 1835), and the following year wrote and illustrated The Romance of Nature or The Flower Seasons, containing 26 coloured plates engraved after her original drawings. She married her cousin Charles in 1839 and moved to Sydney, Australia, and then to Tasmania. Having attributed her botanical knowledge to a study of the works of the draughtsman and engraver James Sowerby (1757–1822), she described and illustrated the plant and animal life of Tasmania and painted landscapes and miniatures. Some of her writings are in the form of picturesque travel books accompanied by her illustrations, for example ...

Article

Anne Gray

(Millichamp)

(b Malvern Wells, Worcs., 1868; d Hamilton, April 3, 1922).

New Zealand draughtsman, illustrator and teacher of English birth, best known for his Gallipoli sketches. In his formative years he painted portraits and allegorical works and around 1912 he moved to London, where he enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art. He subsequently joined Pearson’s Magazine as a staff artist.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Moore-Jones joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Britain, giving his age as 32, serving in Egypt and Gallipoli with the 1st Field Company of New Zealand Engineers. He participated in the allied landing at Anzac Cove in April and was subsequently attached to Lieutenant-General Sir William Birdwood’s headquarters’ staff. He produced topographical pencil and watercolour sketches of the terrain under dangerous conditions, which provided the basis for planning operations in this area. Injured in 1915, he was invalided to Britain, where he made further watercolours based on his Gallipoli experiences. These watercolours are picturesque views, painted with a light, controlled touch, in the English tradition. They were shown in Britain, and later toured New Zealand where thousands attended the exhibitions and heard his talks about the Gallipoli campaign....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Melbourne, May 9, 1958).

Australian sculptor. He spent 20 years in Australian and British television and advertising, where he was already making the mannequins that he later adapted to sculptural purposes. He started his artistic career when collaborating with his mother-in-law, Paula Rego for the Spellbound exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1996, for which he made a Pinocchio figure. Introduced by Rego to Charles Saatchi, who immediately began to collect his work, Mueck took part in the exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy in 1997 with mixed media sculpture Dead Dad (1996–7; London, Saatchi Gal.), an unsettling illusionistic rendition of his own deceased father, half life-size. Made from memory, the sculpture became as much the focus for a strong emotional involvement as it was a mere object treated with Mueck’s rigorous eye for detail. As the artist explained, the miniaturized representation proved a more emotionally involving depiction of death (an initial study was done in full scale) by compelling the beholder to ‘cradle’ the corpse visually. His concern with illusionistic verisimilitude has been linked to the uncompromising Northern tradition of portraiture exemplified by Jan van Eyck or Hans Holbein (ii). Mueck sculpts in clay, makes a plaster mould around it and finally replaces the clay with a mixture of fibreglass, silicone and resin; the technical skill involved, though taken for granted by the artist himself, has often been foregrounded by critics to the detriment of its content. Such psychological density was evident in ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, female.

Born 9 June 1945, in Adelaide.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker. Scenes with figures.

Ann Newmarch uses a heliographic system to create images inspired by postcards of the 1920s.

2007, WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Geffen Contemporary at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (travelling exhibition)...

Article

Robert Smith

(Leslie)

(b Melbourne, Nov 23, 1929).

Australian cartoonist, printmaker, writer, illustrator, film maker and sculptor. After employment as an illustrator in Melbourne (1949–52), he worked in London as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist (1954–60). On the return journey to Australia he formed a lasting interest in South-east Asia, publishing the resulting perceptive and deceptively simple drawings with commentary in the first of his many illustrated books. He worked as a freelance artist in Melbourne until his appointment as resident cartoonist for the Sydney Daily Mirror in 1963 and the newly established national daily, The Australian, from 1964 to 1973. He quickly achieved popularity and repute, especially for his penetrating visual comments on involvement by Australia and the USA in the Vietnam War. He had little formal training in art and developed for himself a free-ranging personal style, which was widely emulated.

From 1970 Petty made or scripted numerous films, often combining actuality with animation and incorporating his own caricatural kinetic sculptures. After some earlier pioneering sculptural works, he created the first of what he called his ‘machine sculptures’, the ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(Ernest)

(b Richmond, Victoria, Dec 17, 1924; d Cottles Bridge, Victoria, Oct 14, 1990).

Australian painter and illustrator. He enlisted at the age of 18 and served with the Australian Imperial Forces during World War II. While hospitalized in New Guinea for several months, he turned to art as a means of expressing his concern for humanity. Returning home, he studied at the National Gallery Art School, Melbourne, under William Dargie (b 1912) from 1947 to 1950. In 1951 he moved to Cottles Bridge on the outskirts of Melbourne, built a house and studio in the bush and devoted himself to painting.

In 1954 Pugh travelled across the Nullarbor Plain. His experience of the vast uninhabited landscape altered his tonal approach to painting to an emotional expressionist style, which used sharp colour contrasts to convey his understanding of ‘the beauty and terror, the soft and hard qualities of nature’. His work received recognition in 1955 when exhibited in Group of Four at the Victorian Artists’ Society. In the following years, his concern for the preservation of the Australian landscape and its wildlife was reflected in bush landscapes studded with native animals and birds. These at times brutal images revealed his knowledge of the bush and the constant struggle for survival in nature....

Article

(b Melbourne, Sept 24, 1937).

Australian painter and photographer. From 1954 to 1957 he studied graphic design at the Swinburne College of Technology in Melbourne, where Dale Hickey was a fellow student. The year of his entry he began to exhibit at the Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne. His early work was influenced by figurative artists such as Ben Shahn and the illustrations of Andy Warhol and also by Charles Blackman, whom he knew personally. Later he came under the influence of Francis Bacon, as shown in The Fall (1963; artist’s col., see Catalano, p. 148), which was derived from a photograph of Benito Mussolini.

From the late 1950s Rooney was interested in ‘trivia’—odds and ends he found in old books, cartoons and illustrations. These formed his ‘Spon collection’ and some of it was incorporated into the Spondee Review, a single copy journal that he produced. Greatly admiring the writings of Gertrude Stein and the music of Erik Satie, he became fascinated by the possibilities of repetition. This led to the collection of works produced in the late 1960s, including the ...

Article

Heather Curnow

(b Teignmouth, Devon, July 3, 1825; d Wadhurst, E. Sussex, Jan 3, 1915).

English painter and illustrator. He was the grandson of the antiquarian Joseph Strutt (1749–1802) and the son of the miniaturist William Thomas Strutt (1777–1850). He trained in Paris from 1838 to 1845 in the studios of Michel-Martin Drolling and Joseph-Nicholas Jouy (b 1809), and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1850 he went to Melbourne, where he contributed to the Illustrated Australian Magazine, visited the Ballarat gold fields and recorded the meeting of Victoria’s first Legislative Council. He received numerous commissions for portraits of important Melbourne public figures including politicians and the explorer Robert O’Hara Burke. In 1855–6 he lived in New Zealand and produced accomplished paintings, drawings and watercolours of his pioneering life in the bush, the Maoris and the scenery around New Plymouth (e.g. The Beach, New Plymouth, c. 1856; Wellington, NZ, Turnbull Lib.). Returning to Melbourne in 1856, Strutt became a founder-member of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts and sketched the departure of the Burke and Wills exploring expedition from Melbourne in ...

Article

Tony Mackle

(b Auckland, Aug 4, 1906; d Wellington, June 6, 1964).

New Zealand printmaker, book illustrator and painter . Taylor had no formal art training, but his work in both jewellery manufacturing and commercial advertising developed his superb skills as a draughtsman and his innate sense of design. Significantly, from 1944 to 1946 Taylor was appointed as art editor and illustrator for the Schools Publications branch of the New Zealand Education Department. He saw the merits of wood-engraving for illustration in school journals and during the remainder of his career created over 200 woodblock images of the flora and fauna of New Zealand and Maori mythology. International recognition for his wood-engraving came through exhibitions in New York (1954) and in Russia (1958).

In 1952 Taylor received a New Zealand Art Societies Scholarship with which he studied Maori life and society, publishing in 1959 Maori Myths and Legends through his own publishing house, The Mermaid Press. Taylor also illustrated books published by the Wingfield Press, Pelorus Press and A. G. & A. W. Reed, as well as encouraging the graphic arts and printmaking through his involvement with the New Zealand Print Council and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts....