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Article

(b London, c. 1843; d Perth, Western Australia, May 8, 1879).

Australian watercolourist, Soldier, colonist and businessman of English descent. The son of the watercolour painter John Absolon (1815–95), he served in the Queen’s Rifles and exhibited paintings and sketches with the Society of British Artists before first visiting Western Australia in 1869. Shipboard watercolour sketches and many studies of the bushland environs of Perth, such as From the Verandah at Northam, (1869–70; see Kerr, p. 5) recorded this first journey. He returned to England to marry Sarah Bowles Habgood, the niece of Thomas Habgood, an influential colonist, and daughter of Robert Mace Habgood, who divided his business and shipping interests between London, Fremantle and Geraldton. The couple returned to Perth, Western Australia, where Absolon helped manage the family’s mining and mercantile interests. The firm of R. W. Habgood & Co. of Fremantle and London was known thereafter as Habgood Absolon & Co. He adapted his painting methods to an impressionistic manner that captured the harsh light and sparsely vegetated antipodean landscape. He also represented the London Art Union in Western Australia from ...

Article

(b Holywood, County Down, Ireland, Jan 26, 1922).

Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between 1949 and 1951 Adams worked as an exhibition designer in London and studied wood-engraving with Gertrude Hermes in her evening class at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design). In 1951, after moving to Melbourne, Adams began a 30-year teaching commitment at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he instructed many of the younger generation of Australian printmakers, including George Baldessin and Jan Senbergs. A brief return to Britain and Ireland in 1957–8 provided experience with Dolmen Press, Dublin, which published his first book of engravings, ...

Article

John Hovell

(b Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, NZ, Aug 27, 1939).

Maori painter, carver, weaver, costume and stage designer. His involvement with art began at Te Aute Maori Boys’ College (1954–7), Hawke’s Bay, Waipawa County, and continued with formal art training at Ardmore Teachers’ College (1958–9) and at Dunedin Teachers’ College (1960), where he trained as an art specialist. He subsequently worked for the Department of Education as an arts and crafts adviser and served on committees for national art education policies, the Historic Places Trust (with particular reference to Maori sites), art museums and tribal committees (dealing with traditional and customary art forms and architecture). He helped to promote contemporary developments in Maori arts for community buildings, meeting houses, churches and public sites, serving on private and governmental commissions. In his own work he maintains a balance between the conservation of older traditional materials and forms of Maori arts and the experimental use of new materials, such as composite chipboard, synthetic dyes, plastic-coated basketry fibres and composite, laminated board. His painted and woven-fibre works are notable for their rich but subtle colours and controlled sense of line. They vary in size from complex architectural installations or stage designs for the Royal New Zealand Ballet to designs for postage stamps. At Te Huki Meeting House (...

Article

Australian, 20th century, female.

Born in Sydney.

Miniaturist, watercolourist.

While studying in Paris with Camille Carlier-Vignal, Lilian Albert exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, obtaining an honourable mention in 1930 for a watercolour, The Soup, and a miniature.

Article

Michael Dunn

(b Auckland, May 7, 1943).

New Zealand painter. She studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, from 1960 to 1963 and subsequently travelled extensively in the USA and Europe. Her paintings are abstractions with a basis in nature, to which she alludes in her titles. An early and enduring influence on her work were the colour paintings of Helen Frankenthaler. Albrecht’s painting is distinguished by its strong colouring and feeling. Among her most important works are her Hemisphere paintings from a series begun in 1981, in which the canvases are semi-circular. An example is the Fire and the Rose (1984; Wanganui, Sarjeant A.G.). Since 1989 Albrecht has been working on an oval format and has introduced a deeper, more reflective tone to her paintings. Her work is represented in public art galleries in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and in private collections worldwide.

After Nature: Gretchen Albrecht. A Survey: 23 Years (exh. cat., ed. ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1888; died 1973.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist. Landscapes, seascapes.

Sydney, 6 Oct 1976: Seaside, Newport (oil on canvas remounted on board, 18 × 24 ins/46 × 61 cm) AUD 800

Sydney, 21 March 1978: The Loch Etive (1930, watercolour...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Active in Australia from 1888 to the 1920s.

Born 1881, in Middlesborough, North England; died 1965, in London.

Painter.

Altson was a pupil of the English portrait painter, Bernard Lindsay Hall. He studied design and painting at the National Gallery of Victoria Schools in Melbourne ...

Article

Michael Dunn

revised by Edward Hanfling

[Henrietta] (Catherine)

(b Hastings, March 12, 1908; d Wellington, Jan 26, 1970).

New Zealand painter. Angus studied at the Canterbury School of Art, Christchurch (1927–33). In 1930 she married the artist Alfred Cook (1907–70) and used the signature Rita Cook until 1946; they had separated in 1934. Her painting Cass (1936; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.) is representative of the regionalist school that emerged in Canterbury during the late 1920s, with the small railway station visualizing both the isolation and the sense of human progress in rural New Zealand. The impact of North American Regionalism is evident in Angus’s work of the 1930s and 1940s. However, Angus was a highly personal painter, not easily affiliated to specific movements or styles. Her style involved a simplified but fastidious rendering of form, with firm contours and seamless tonal gradations (e.g. Central Otago). Her paintings were invested with symbolic overtones, often enigmatic and individual in nature. The portrait of Betty Curnow...

Article

Pamela Bell

(b Rome,1850; d Rome, July 2, 1881).

Italian painter and art teacher active in Australia. He trained at the Accademia di S Luca, Rome. His conservative style emulates his teacher Alessandro Capalti’s use of drape, column and rhetorical gesture, as seen in Capalti’s portraits at the University of Sydney. On Bishop James Quinn’s advice, Anivitti emigrated to Brisbane in 1871 with the sculptor Achille Simonetti. In 1875 he was appointed first teacher of painting and drawing at the Art Training School of the New South Wales Academy of Art, founded in 1871. Among his 30 recorded pupils were medal winners Frank Mahony (1862–1916), artist for the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, whose drawing of Anivitti is at the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and A. J. Fischer, staff artist for the Illustrated Sydney News and Bulletin.

Anivitti’s duties at the Academy included curatorship of a collection of paintings acquired by the Academy with government funds. These paintings became the foundation of the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, whose antecedents were in the Academy....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Melbourne, May 5, 1951; d Melbourne, July 22, 1999).

Australian painter. While studying painting at Prahran College, Melbourne, from 1969 to 1971, he discovered airbrushes, technical tools employed by commercial artists which he adopted with alacrity as his favoured instrument for picture-making. At art school Arkley met the collage artist and painter Elizabeth Gower, who had a significant influence over his work. They married in 1973, later separating in 1980. In 1977 he travelled to Paris and New York on residencies, and it was during this time that he became fascinated by architectural motifs as inspirations for painting. In Paris he assiduously photographed Art Nouveau and Art Deco doorways in black and white, intending to use these images as reference points for paintings on his return to Australia. Once back there, however, he decided that he needed to find imagery and subject-matter relevant to his own identity as an Australian. While ringing the doorbell of his mother’s house in suburban Melbourne, he noticed the flywire screen door and realized at once that this indigenous architectural feature, banal and disregarded, would be a much more suitable subject than the artistic doorways of Paris. Following this revelation, he made a succession of identically sized paintings in an elongated vertical format corresponding to these flywire screens, but betraying an astonishing variety of motifs and colour schemes. ...

Article

Article

(Rossi)

(b Alderstone, England, Jan 27, 1851; d Bondi, Sydney, April 27, 1942).

Australian painter and writer . He attended the West London School of Art and, following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1878 the newspaper owner David Syme invited Ashton to Melbourne to produce black-and-white illustrations for the Illustrated Australian News. After a disagreement with the management he transferred to the rival Australasian Sketcher. In 1883 he went to Sydney, where he joined the staff of the Picturesque Atlas of Australia and also contributed to the Sydney Bulletin. Ashton was an ardent disciple of Impressionist painting and claimed to have executed the first plein-air landscape in Australia: Evening, Merri Creek (1882; Sydney, A.G. NSW). Much of his work, as in the watercolour A Solitary Ramble (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), had a strong sentimental streak. In addition to his outdoor works Ashton painted a number of portraits, such as that of Helen Ashton...

Article

Australian, 19th century, male.

Born in Adelaide.

Painter. Portraits, landscapes.

Will Ashton featured at the exhibition of Australian art held at London's Grafton Gallery in 1898, at the Royal Society for the Arts 1906 exhibition in Sydney, New South Wales, and at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in ...

Article

Terry Smith

(b Bolton, Lancs, May 1, 1935).

Australian painter of English birth. He emigrated to Australia in 1950, settling in the coal and steel town Wollongong, where he worked as a painter and signwriter for 12 years, despite having no formal tuition. In 1964 he moved to Sydney and in 1965 exhibited simple colour studies inspired by the work of Washington Color Painters Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis, seen in both travelling exhibitions of American art and art magazine reproduction. Many young Australian artists adopted such mentors: they were interpreted, initially, through the framework of English perceptions of these artists, yet were soon seen more directly and adapted to local needs.

In 1969 Aspden broke with the stripes, circles, bands and grids ubiquitous in 1960s art, favouring ‘torn’ shapes of single colours, intensely hued and set against each other in flowing patchwork or in flashing horizontal runs across the canvas. In size, scale and surety, these paintings rivalled American work of the time. Their emphatically warm colours and vitality conveyed something of the energetic spirit of Sydney and of the eastern coastline of Australia. They reached a climax in the ...

Article

Australian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Painter. Portraits.

Sydney: Portrait

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1914; died 1987.

Painter. Still-lifes.

Alan Douglas Baker mainly painted still-lifes of flower arrangements.

Sydney, 29 March 1982: Still-life (oil on card, 19¼ × 23¼ ins/49 × 59 cm) AUD 850

Sydney, 14 March 1983: Still-life (oil on card...

Article

Australian, 20th century, female.

Born in Australia.

Painter.

Christina Asquith Baker was a pupil of Bachet and Schommer. She exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1904.

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born in Adelaide; died 1955.

Painter. Landscapes, still-lifes.

Étaples Artists' Colony.

Arthur Baker-Clack exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, then at the Salon d'Automne in Paris between 1912 and 1934, and at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1905; died 1977.

Painter.

The works of Bob Balir Balir Dirdi have a religious and spiritual character. He used ocres on black eucalyptus bark, drawing spindly, streaked figures, whose gestures and poses are magical. He depicted, for example, Mimi Spirits...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1890, in England; died 1964.

Painter.

Ralph Balson lived in Australia from 1913, but did not attend evening classes at Sydney Art School until around 1922. In 1940 he was one of the first artists in Australia to hold an exhibition of abstract art. He was influenced initially by Mondrian, but then specialised in art composed of a juxtaposition of splashes of colour, which gave colour a new expressive value....