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Adams, Tate  

(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, ...


Clifton, Marshall  

Duncan Richards

(Waller Gervase)

(b Wokalup, W. Australia, Sept 11, 1903; d Perth, W. Australia, Dec 3, 1975).

Australian architect and watercolourist. He trained as an architect at the Public Works Department of Western Australia in Perth (1922–6). In 1930 he travelled to England and worked for E. Vincent Harris in London. This experience reinforced Clifton’s belief in the classical tradition as a basis for contemporary design. He was also influenced by vernacular building forms, which he studied during travels in Spain. After returning to Western Australia in December 1932 he formed a partnership (1933–7) with George Herbert Parry (1887–1951). In 1937 he established his own practice, which focused on domestic architecture: the Day house (1939), 166 Victoria Avenue, Claremont, Perth, is a fine example of Clifton’s use of Spanish precedent. After wartime military service and a partnership (1946–53) with Eric Leach, a former pupil, Clifton re-established his practice in 1953. The Faculty of Arts building (1962...


Dobell, Sir William  

Susan Hunt

(b Newcastle, NSW, Sept 24, 1899; d Wangi Wangi, NSW, May 13, 1970).

Australian painter. After an apprenticeship with an architect in Newcastle, he went to Sydney to attend evening classes at Julian Rossi Ashton’s art school, while employed at an architectural metalwork company. His talent gained him early recognition in the Society of Artists. In 1929 his first prize in the Australian Art Quest and the Society of Arts Travelling Scholarship enabled him to travel overseas. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London for 15 months under Henry Tonks and Philip Wilson Steer, as well as receiving private tuition from William Orpen. In 1929–30 he was awarded prizes for life painting and figure drawing.

Dobell’s study of major Dutch artists in 1930 and visits to Paris and Belgium in 1931 gave him, as a provincial artist, essential grounding in the European portrait tradition. His style, a blend of realism and expressionism, was an assimilation of a wide range of influences, from Rembrandt to Chaïm Soutine. ...


Henry, Lucien  

Barbara B. Kane


(b Sisteron, Provence, 1850; d Le Pave, St Léonard-de-Noblat, Haute Vienne, March 10, 1896).

French painter, sculptor, designer and teacher, active in Australia. He trained under the architect Viollet-le-Duc and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Jean-Léon Gérôme. In 1871 he was sentenced to death for his political activities in the Paris Commune; this was commuted to transportation to New Caledonia. He arrived in Sydney in 1879 after the granting of political amnesty. He was appointed instructor in modelling at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and in 1883 became the first lecturer in art at the Sydney Technical College. He also taught privately. His influence on a generation of students that included Lucien Dechaineux (1870–1957), later director of the Hobart Technical College, A. G. Reid, the sculptor, B. E. Minns (1864–1937) and Sydney Cathels, was profound. A founder-member of the Art Society of New South Wales, his frequent contributions to their exhibitions included portraits and busts. Henry sought to establish a national style in the applied arts through the use of distinctive colours and motifs based on native flora and fauna. His delight in the Australian shrub waratah is seen in the design for two large stained-glass windows in the Sydney Town Hall and in the curious designs for a folio of 50 graphic works to be entitled ...


Larter, Richard  

Christine Clark

(b Hornchurch, Essex, May 19, 1929).

Australian painter, video and film maker and teacher. After World War II he studied part-time at St Martin’s School of Art, London. In 1951 he learnt about Islamic art and architecture by working in Algiers on the restoration of the Marabout tombs. Returning to England, he attended Toynbee Hall, London (1952–3) and Shoreditch Teacher Training College, Surrey (1954–7). In 1962 he emigrated to Australia, where he taught art in a high school in Sydney. In the late 1950s, when he became disillusioned with abstract painting, he began to develop his personal style of Pop art. He became known for the paintings in which continuous lines and small dots of colour were applied with hypodermic needles. In his Pop, figurative works he placed models (frequently his wife, Pat) in patchworked, bizarre and often obscene positions. In Rollover (1984; Pat Larter priv. col.), he resorted to shock and humour to challenge accepted moral boundaries. Apart from these figurative works, often mural-sized, he produced many abstract paintings and video and film works....


Linton, J(ames) W(alter) R(obert)  

Judith O’Callaghan

(b London, June 14, 1869; d Perth, Aug 29, 1947).

Australian silversmith, jeweller, woodworker and painter of English birth. His father was the watercolourist Sir James Dromgole Linton (1840–1916). Having trained as a painter and architect in London, he travelled to Western Australia in 1896 and began practising metalwork after settling in Perth; he was appointed head of the art department of Perth Technical School in 1902. Following a trip to London in 1907, when he attended classes at the Sir John Cass Technical Institute under Harold Stabler, he concentrated on producing metalwork. Working in partnership with Arthur Cross, William Andrews and his own son Jamie Linton (1904–80), he produced ecclesiastical and domestic wares, presentation pieces and jewellery. His designs were influenced by British Arts and Crafts metalwork and were bold and simple, with decoration generally confined to hammered surfaces, twisted wire, hardstones and enamels. A highly influential figure in Perth’s artistic community and an energetic teacher, Linton played an important role in the promotion of crafts in Western Australia....


Lusk, Doris  

David P. Millar

(b Dunedin, 1916; d 1990).

New Zealand painter. Lusk was the daughter of an architect and was determined from an early age to be an artist. Lusk enrolled herself at the Art School attached to Dunedin’s Technical College. Blessed with ability, Lusk found art school a stimulating time. Dunedin had a tiny but lively art community: Russell Clark (1905–66) was working as a commercial artist, Colin McCahon and M. T. Wollaston were fellow students and R. N. Field and J. D. Charlton Edgar were both instructors with experiences garnered in London and Edinburgh respectively. Meanwhile, Phaidon Press art books gave her glimpses of the world beyond. Lusk found the Central Otago area a rich source of inspiration, and with later employment, both as a commercial artist at Brown Ewings Department Store and as an art teacher at St. Hilda’s, she financed her painting tours to the Nelson area, usually in the company of Woollaston or McCahon....


Miller, Godfrey  

Barry Pearce


(b Wellington, New Zealand, Aug 20, 1893; d Sydney, May 10, 1964).

Australian painter. After completing his architectural studies in Wellington in 1917, he met the Dunedin painter A. H. O’Keefe and determined to be an artist. He was able to do this with the assistance of a private income. He travelled to China, Japan and the Philippines and in 1919–20 moved to Warrandyte, on the outskirts of Melbourne, where he began painting. He studied intermittently in London from 1929, with some attendance at the Slade School of Fine Art, and travelled extensively through Europe and the Middle East until the beginning of World War II, when he returned to Australia and lived in Sydney.

Miller’s arrival in Sydney marked a development in his work from conventional landscapes and some Cubist-style experiments towards a mosaic-like picture surface, which became characteristic for the remainder of his career. His paintings of still-lifes (e.g. Still-life with Musical Instruments, 1950–60; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria), landscapes and the human form, broken down into tiny geometric divisions, reflected not so much a regional version of Post-Impressionism as a mystical philosophy derived from the artist’s early interests in the ancient cultures of the Middle East and Asia. The resolution between unity and fragmentation in his paintings was to Miller a counterpart to the forces of continuity in the universe....


Russell, John Peter  

Ann Galbally

(b Sydney, June 16, 1858; d Sydney, April 30, 1930).

Australian painter. He was sent to England in 1879 as an apprentice engineer in Lincoln, where he began painting in watercolour. The inheritance that followed his father’s death enabled him to become a student at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1881–3). He then trained at the Atelier Cormon, Paris (1885–7), where he formed one of the most important artistic friendships of his life with Vincent van Gogh, commemorated by the portrait of Vincent van Gogh (1886; Amsterdam, Van Gogh Mus.).

In Paris, Russell’s style and subject-matter changed from rather literary works in the manner of G. F. Watts and Frederic Leighton to encompass a new interest in landscape, peasant subject-matter, Japanese prints and, above all, colour. Through van Gogh he became acquainted with Louis Anquetin and Emile Bernard: he met Claude Monet working on Belle-Ile in 1886 and remained strongly influenced by him for a number of years. After a lengthy painting journey through Italy to Sicily he decided in ...


Smart, Jeffrey  

Peter Quartermaine

(b Adelaide, July 26, 1921; d Arezzo, June 20, 2013).

Australian painter. A childhood passion for architecture shaped his interest in the beauty of the man-made world. Trained in Adelaide, where he later taught, Smart developed an early admiration for Piero della Francesca and Cézanne. He first visited Europe in 1948 and the following year studied for six months with Fernand Léger at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. After teaching in Sydney, and working with radio and television arts programmes, he moved to Italy in 1964 to paint full-time.

His paintings derive a power disproportionate to their modest scale from precision of composition, sureness of draughtsmanship and colour, and masterly control of light. Never overtly Australian in subject-matter, they often interpret contemporary Italian urban life (motorways, trucks, airports and apartment blocks) in a manner both realistic and meditative (e.g. Footbridge 1975, 1975; Canberra, N. Australia Bank). Profoundly sceptical of critics and of ‘progress’, he has derived inspiration from ancient Egyptian art as much as from Balthus, T. S. Eliot or Hard-Edge painting. A believer in trained professionalism, Smart has been concerned to paint a stillness which ‘comes about by a judicious and perfect disposition of shapes and colours’. First purchased by Australian State collections in the mid-1940s, but neglected until the late 1960s, Smart’s work is valued for its unique blend of formal strength and specific reference....


Tillers, Imants  

Terry Smith

(b Sydney, July 30, 1950).

Australian conceptual artist and painter. An architecture student at Sydney University (1969–72), he closely followed the profound questioning of artistic practices concentrated there, including the radical rethinking of Australian and modern art history occurring in the courses and research of the Power Institute of Fine Arts. He was also alert to the particular nexus between minimalist aesthetics and conceptual experimentality being forged by artists in Sydney as elsewhere. A son of Latvian immigrants, he saw these developments from an already displaced perspective. They gave him the grounding for his artistic language, and for his recurrent subject: the imagery of identity, of the personal within the social. It was approached obliquely, usually by inference, often unstable and elusive to the point of disappearance.

The vital paradox of Tillers’s art is the projection of such significant content through the appropriation and quotation of imagery from a number of sources, including reproductions of other artists’ works. His large paintings are assemblies of small canvas-boards, scored by oilstick and arrangeable in various combinations; he even exhibited them in stacks. ...