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Betsy L. Chunko

(b Le Mans, Nov 1, 1908; d Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 1995).

French architectural historian, active also in America. Bony was educated at the Sorbonne, receiving his agregation in geography and history in 1933. In 1935, converted to art history by Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, he travelled to England under a research grant from the Sorbonne, after which time he became Assistant Master in French at Eton College (1937–9 and 1945–6). He returned to France in 1939 as an infantry lieutenant in World War II in the French Army, was taken as a prisoner of war and spent the years 1940–43 in an internment camp in Germany. After the war he returned to England, first to Eton, then as Lecturer in the History of Art at the French Institute in London (1946–61), Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1948–58), and Slade Professor of Fine Art at St John’s College, Cambridge (1958–61). From 1961 to 1962...

Article

Rory Spence

Term apparently coined by Robin Boyd in Australia’s Home (1952) and loosely applied to highly ornate architecture in a classical idiom that was fashionable in the eastern states of Australia between the late 1870s and early 1890s. The style was made possible by, and is to some extent an expression of, the financial boom that followed the discovery of gold in 1851. The climax of the boom was in the 1880s in Victoria, where the richest goldfields were located. The buildings most commonly associated with the Boom style are the richly decorated Italianate villas and speculative terrace houses of Melbourne. The English picturesque Italianate fashion had been introduced to Australia by the early 1840s but only reached its sumptuous apogee in Victoria in the late 1880s. The architecture is characterized by asymmetrical towers, balustraded parapets, polygonal bay windows and round-arched openings and arcades, though the terrace houses often lack the more elaborate features. The buildings were usually stuccoed and enriched with mass-produced Renaissance-style elements in cast cement. They frequently incorporate cast-iron filigree verandahs, prefabricated in sections. A typical stuccoed villa is ...

Article

(b Sheffield, Nov 2, 1940).

Australian painter of English birth. He attended drawing classes at the Sheffield College of Art from 1956 to 1957, and in 1958 he emigrated to Australia. There he worked as a labourer until 1962 when he entered the National Gallery School in Melbourne, studying painting until 1965. He then taught painting at the Prahran Technical College in Melbourne from 1965 to 1969. In 1969 he had his first one-man exhibition at Pinacotheca in Melbourne and exhibited in the same year at the Central Street Gallery in Sydney. He then gave up teaching and returned to labouring work. His early paintings were hard-edge abstract works, and slowly, within this style, black came to dominate his paintings. By 1971 they were wholly black, sometimes with coloured edges on three sides, as in Painting (1971; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria). He used black to signify social alienation and associated the colour with the industrial landscapes around his native Sheffield; he sought out similar areas in Melbourne....

Article

Miles Lewis

(b Melbourne, 1926; d Melbourne, Nov 2000).

Australian architect. He began his architectural career at the age of 15 as office boy to Best Overend; in 1950, while completing his architectural thesis at Melbourne University, he was briefly employed by Harry Seidler. He entered practice as a protégé of Robin Boyd in association with Peter McIntyre. All three experimented in 1953 with the parabolic concrete ‘Ctesiphon Arch’ (see Boyd family §(1)), the patent for which was held by a local building contractor. Meanwhile Borland and McIntyre, together with John and Phyllis Murphy, in 1952 won the competition for the Olympic Swimming Pool, Melbourne, and in 1953 formed a partnership that continued for three years. The pool was enclosed in a dramatic structure. Raked tiers of stands on either side were tied together at their highest points by elongated lozenge-shaped roof trusses. The structure was stabilized by ties running from the same points down to anchors in the ground. After ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Sunshine, Victoria, March 26, 1961, d London, Dec 31, 1994).

Australian fashion designer and performance artist. He arrived in Britain from Australia in 1980 and set up as a fashion designer in London’s Kensington Market, selling clothes he had made with his partner. His regular and increasingly outlandish appearances on the club circuit led to his opening the club Taboo in Leicester Square in 1985, within which he developed his performing persona. In 1988 he made his first foray into the mainstream London art scene with a one-week performance at the Anthony D’Offay Gallery. Every afternoon for one week Bowery improvised a performance in front of a one-way mirror, wearing a different costume each time and accompanied by a soundtrack of traffic sounds; the narcissism of his outlandish preening and posing, exposed to the audience with a literal transparency, was all the more comical and outrageous given his large and ungainly appearance. His subsequent performances include an appearance in 1993...

Article

Rory Spence and Ursula Hoff

Australian family of artists and writers founded by the landscape painters Arthur Merric Boyd (1862–1940) and his wife Emma Minnie Boyd (1858–1936). Their children included (William) Merric Boyd (1888–1959), who founded Australia’s first significant studio pottery at Murrumbeena with his wife, the ceramicist Doris Lucy Eleanor Boyd (c. 1883–1960); and (Theodore) Penleigh Boyd (1890–1923), who was a noted landscape painter and etcher. Penleigh’s son (1) Robin Boyd became a well-known architect and writer, who helped to develop a more critical approach to Australian architecture and culture. Merric and Doris had five children, all of whom became artists and were at some stage involved with ceramic art. Among them were Lucy Boyd (b 1915); Guy Boyd (1923–88), who was also a sculptor; David Boyd (b 1925); and Mary Boyd (b 1926), who married John Perceval (...

Article

Christine Clark

(b Melbourne, May 10, 1920; d Melbourne, Feb 11, 1999).

Australian painter, teacher and lecturer. After studying at the National Gallery of Victoria School in Melbourne under William Darby (1946–9), Brack worked in the Gallery’s print room until 1957. He later worked as a teacher and from 1963 was head of the School. The purchase by the National Gallery of The Barber’s Shop and Collins Street 5pm in the early 1950s helped to launch Brack’s career. The influence of Seurat and Manet can be noted in the construction and composition of early works such as The Bar (1954), based on Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Although many of his contemporaries and forerunners painted Australian mythical and historical scenes, Brack always depicted his own times, and especially the people, suburbia and consumerism of urban Melbourne. He employed an unemotional style in works such as his studio nudes (e.g. Nude on a Small Chair, 1975; Melbourne, Joseph Brown Gal.), but frequently included simple satire and comedy....

Article

William Main

(b Wellington, June 27, 1927; d 1988).

New Zealand photographer and film maker. He came to photography through membership of the Christchurch Camera Club. Moving to Wellington in 1945 he became an assistant to Spencer Digby, one of the country’s leading portrait photographers. After five years he moved as a cameraman and director to the government-sponsored National Film Unit, where one of his notable achievements was the Snows of Aorangi, on which he collaborated with John Drawbridge and the composer Douglas Lilburn. Although this film proved popular at the time, its worth was not properly recognized by the controllers of the Film Unit, and Brake therefore moved to London where he freelanced as a photojournalist. From 1955 to 1966 he worked for the international agency Magnum in Paris and New York. He also worked for the Rapho agency, undertaking assignments for Life Magazine, National Geographic, Horizon and Paris-Match. Independent of the agencies, he collaborated with the New Zealand author ...

Article

Susan Best

(b Sydney, Aug 8, 1919; d Sydney, April 19, 2005).

Australian sculptor, video, installation artist, and sound artist. Brassil received her initial art training at Sydney Teachers College, East Sydney Technical College, and Newcastle Technical College (1937–9). She taught art for 20 years at Campbelltown High School before commencing her exhibiting career in the early 1970s.

Brassil’s first recorded work is Trilogy: Twentieth Century Perception (1969–74; Sydney, U. W. Sydney). Trilogy is composed of three components: Sound Beyond Hearing (900×900×150 mm), Light Beyond Seeing (900×600×150 mm) and Memory Beyond Recall (1050×1050×150 mm). Unlike Brassil’s later works, these three components can be wall mounted. They are beautiful, highly finished, shallow black boxes, and two out of the three are electronic. Memory Beyond Recall has glowing lights veiled behind layers of paper that appear and then dim down and disappear. Light Beyond Seeing has a central lit portion that uses mirrors to suggest an infinitely deep space. The main themes of Brassil’s career—perception, sound, memory, and the transcendental realm—are all signalled in this early work....

Article

Paula Furby

(b Melbourne, Nov 15, 1926).

Australian painter, teacher and critic. In 1943 Braund studied at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and then undertook a five year diploma at the National Gallery School of Victoria (1944–9) with the modernist Alan Sumner (b 1911). Braund also studied privately with George Bell. In her final year Braund won prizes for Drawing the Figure and Painting a Still Life, which were judged by Constance Stokes. Braund travelled in Europe and England between 1950–51 and was drawn to classical beauty in art, whether ancient or modern, and especially Etruscan art. She subsequently became a regular traveller to Europe and Asia.

Braund painted in oil and gouache, with her main subject being the human figure. Her first major work Figure Composition (Brisbane, Queensland A.G.), entered for the National Gallery School Travelling Scholarship of 1949, is a classical arrangement of figures in modern dress. Thereafter her figure compositions became simplified and abstracted, simplification being the essence of Braund’s aesthetic. Compositional elements are held in tension by finely observed relationships of colour, form and tone and often unusual perspectives. Her paintings are humane, witty and rhythmical, with subjects taken from the beach, boating, playing fields, social occasions and travel observations....

Article

Peter Gibbs

(b New Plymouth, New Zealand, Oct 26, 1935).

New Zealand potter. In 1960 he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Auckland and in 1961 became a full-time studio potter. His interest in historical methods of potting and firing and in the relationship between the arts and industry led to his construction of small-scale railways and a variety of firing kilns. A particular interest was in using coal-fired kilns to achieve a salt-glaze finish to his work, as can be seen in his ‘Thinso’ jug (see New Zealand §VII 2.). Brickell is best known for his sculptural terracotta work, many examples of which are held in New Zealand institutions and museums. A relief tile mural by Brickell is on display in the offices of Waitaki Refrigeration Ltd, London. In 1987 Brickell published A New Zealand Potter’s Dictionary, a guide to the materials and techniques of pottery for New Zealand and South Pacific Island potters....

Article

Christine Clark

Australian city and capital of the state of Queensland. It is situated on the banks of the Brisbane River on the eastern coastal plain of the continent, c. 400 km south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and it is Australia’s third largest city (population c. 1.25 million). Brisbane was founded in 1825, when a convict settlement established in 1824 at Redcliffe, Moreton Bay, was moved c. 20 km up-river to the present site in a deep S-bend of the river. By the time the penal settlement was closed (1839) there were only two streets of any importance, one of which later became Queen Street, the city’s principal retail thoroughfare. In 1842 Brisbane was opened to free settlement and the first land sale held; several plans drawn in 1840–43 by Henry Wade show the adoption of a rectangular grid, although Governor George Gipps ordered the streets to be made narrower than initially planned. The first official residence was Newstead House (...

Article

(b Łódź, Poland, March 30, 1918; d Melbourne, Australia, Aug 24, 2009).

Australian collector and dealer. He settled in Australia with his Polish Jewish family in 1933. He won a scholarship to the Brunswick Technical Art School, Melbourne, but his studies were curtailed by the depression of the 1930s, and he was obliged to seek work. After a successful business career in the fashion industry, Brown opened an art gallery in Melbourne in 1963, where he held one-man exhibitions and published important catalogues of Australian art. He became an authority on the subject and a consultant to museums, libraries, galleries, and universities throughout the country. He was best known for his large collection of Australian art, assembled over a 40-year period and ranging from colonial, Victorian, and Impressionist works to 20th-century abstract and contemporary art. He bought many of the works at small cost, at a time when Australian art was thought to be beneath consideration by most Australian collectors. The collection, originally housed at ...

Article

Richard Haese

[Michael] (Gordon Challis)

(b Sydney, May 8, 1938).

Australian painter and sculptor. He studied art at the East Sydney Technical College (1956–8) but left dissatisfied before completing the course. An important stage in his development was his discovery in 1959 of Australian Aboriginal art and the art of Melanesia and Polynesia, which he saw in New Zealand and on a visit to New Guinea in 1960 while working with the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit. In 1961–2 he lived in the Sydney suburb of Annandale with fellow artist Ross Crothall (b 1934) producing the first of his significant work. With Colin Lanceley the artists held two influential exhibitions in 1962 of painting, collages and assemblage, in Melbourne at the Museum of Modern Art and Design and in Sydney at the Rudy Komon Art Gallery, using the name Annandale Imitation Realists. They exploited discarded materials and disdained finish in a raw and irreverent art that mixed painting and sculpture, often collaborating on work. Imitation Realism was the first full expression of ...

Article

Ian J. Lochhead

[Akitt]

(b London, March 23, 1905; d Auckland, Jan 28, 1965).

New Zealand architect of English birth. He was educated at Highgate School, London, and arrived in New Zealand in 1927. After working for several architectural firms in Auckland, he began his own practice in 1937. From 1945 he taught at the School of Architecture, University of Auckland. During the 1940s and 1950s he designed a series of simple, austere timber-frame houses clad in dark-stained weatherboards with low-pitched roofs, for example Redwood House (1943), Orakei, and Melville House (1947), Epsom. The plans of these houses were economical and rigorously organized, while construction techniques and details were those commonly available. Brown was one of the first New Zealand architects to discover in the principles of the Modern Movement the key to an authentic architectural idiom for his own time and place. Through his example as a practising architect and as a teacher, he exerted a strong influence on a generation of post-World War II New Zealand architects, encouraging them to find their own identity rather than relying on imported concepts and styles....

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Hawker, Port Augusta, S. Australia, March 11, 1900; d San Francisco, CA, Aug 10, 1983).

American photographer of Australian birth. Bruehl trained as an electrical engineer in Melbourne, but in 1919 he emigrated to the USA. He developed his interest in photography while working for the Western Electric Company, New York. In 1923 he attended an exhibition by students of Clarence H(udson) White, who was then considered America’s most prominent Pictorialist photographer. White agreed to teach him privately, but by 1924 Bruehl had become both a regular student at White’s New York school and a member of his summer faculty in Canaan, CT. White encouraged the individualism shown by his students. Among them, Bruehl, Paul Outerbridge and Ralph Steiner became known for a crisp, graphic style that would distinguish the best commercial photography in the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1927 Bruehl opened his own studio, which prospered in New York until 1966. The photograph Untitled (Riverside, U. CA, Mus. Phot., see 1985 exh. cat., no. 20) of an apple, camera and lamp exemplifies his use of high contrast with black background and is an example of the table-top still-lifes that appeared in such magazines as ...

Article

Jan Minchin

(b Hamburg, Aug 26, 1909; d 2000).

Australian painter of German birth. Untrained, she took up painting in 1936 at the suggestion of William Frater (1890–1974), a pioneer of modernist art in Melbourne who had been much influenced by Post-Impressionism. Over the next decade she developed a close working relationship with Frater. From 1943 to 1948 she lived at Darebin Bridge House, a converted hotel, which became a meeting place for artists and writers and was known as the ‘painter’s pub’: Frater, Ambrose Hallen (1886–1943) and Ian Fairweather had studios there. It was a stimulating and productive period. Her working method was rapid and intuitive. The vitality of her work derives most from the vigorous handling of paint and the strongly felt and immediate response to the subject. Colour was her main interest, and she used it to express mood and emotion. Subjects include cityscapes and a number of fine portraits: one of the best, the ...

Article

Mary Eagle

(Charles Wulsten) [Charles Rupert Wulsten]

(b St Kilda, nr Melbourne, Sept 29, 1864; d Melbourne, May 26, 1947).

Australian painter. After studying in Melbourne under G. F. Folingsby (d 1891), he moved to Europe in 1884 and studied in London under P. H. Calderon and in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, who introduced him to the Société des Artistes Français in 1887. His early works consisted mainly of mythological subjects and graceful images of pleasant Symbolist landscapes (e.g. Pastoral, c. 1893; Canberra, N.G.); he defected to the New Salon in 1901 and produced some less decorative works, including images of biblical subjects (e.g. the Prodigal Son, c. 1903; Melbourne, Wesley Church). A long series of paintings of women followed (e.g. the Distant Song, c. 1909; Canberra, N.G.), but his style again changed abruptly when in 1913 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne a series of images of dancers, The Rite (untraced; repr. in A. & Déc., xxxiv (1913), p. 170), that shows the influence of Primitivism. Although not attracted to the avant-garde, Bunny showed an adventurous spirit in his unusual sense of colour, sense of rhythm and witty use of his subjects’ poses. He continued to live in Paris and London until ...

Article

Rory Spence

(b Newcastle, NSW, Aug 8, 1945).

Australian architect. He graduated from the University of Melbourne (1970) and worked for Daryl Jackson Evan Walker Architects before starting his own practice in 1972. Burgess’s architecture, inspired by esoteric literature, particularly Asian writings, and by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, was concerned with human responses to form and space, the expansion of human consciousness and encouraging a sense of spiritual wholeness. He was also influenced by the Melbourne tradition of improvisatory ‘bush’ architecture and perhaps by the geometrical plans of such architects as Roy Grounds in the 1950s. Burgess’s buildings generally have strong, complex geometries, often combined with more intuitive organic forms, conveying a sense of spiritual struggle in a contradictory modern world. He designed many houses, often largely in timber, for example the Hackford House (1981), Traralgon, Victoria, with a central stair tower that symbolically links earth and sky. His many public commissions included several school buildings; the church of St Michael and St John (...

Article

William Main

(Henry)

(b England, 1834; d Dunedin, 1914).

New Zealand photographer. At the age of 34 he travelled to join his younger brother, Walter Burton, who had established a photographic business in Dunedin, New Zealand. Under the name of Burton Bros. they practised photography together until their partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in 1876. Alfred continued to trade under the firm’s name until 1898, at which point he sold his remaining interests to two former associates, Muir and Moodie. A great deal of anecdotal information about his life can be found in the self-promoting articles that he supplied to various Dunedin newspapers and publications. He is remembered above all for his trip up the Wanganui River in April and May in 1885. This North Island river gave access to the hinterland known as the King Country, a place where Maori tribes had retreated after the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. Photographing as he went, Burton documented the villages and people of the area in 250 plates. These images are among the most important social documents on Maori life to have survived from this period. Burton marketed his views in albums, which he called ...