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Cameron Sparks

(b Ballarat, May 21, 1864; d Looe, Cornwall, March 26, 1939).

Australian painter. He trained at the Ballarat School of Design, the National Gallery School, Melbourne, and the Académie Julien, Paris. He was associated with the Heidelberg school in the 1890s, when he specialized in poetic evocations of evening, for example Moonrise (1894; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria). In 1897 he moved permanently to Europe, working in St Ives, Cornwall, England; the Conway Valley, Wales; and Dieppe, France, for 25 years and finally settling in Looe, Cornwall. He produced oils and watercolours of all these localities, as well as, portraits and flowerpieces. Among his more important European work in oil was St Ives Bay, Cornwall (1904; Adelaide, A.G. S. Australia) and A Normandy Village (1919; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 53).

Although uninterested in theory and independent of contemporary artistic movements, Davies admired Monet and may have been influenced by Jean-Charles Cazin and Achille-Théodore Cesbron. His style was essentially simple, picking out a few details within a broader atmospheric effect. In his early work he favoured sombre earth colours, which brightened when he moved to Europe, particularly when he worked in watercolour although he retained a penchant for the muted tones of dusk and grey weather....


Paul Foss

(b Santiago, Oct 6, 1946).

Australian painter and performance artist of Chilean birth. He studied law and fine arts at the University of Chile. Following the coup of 1973, he arrived in Melbourne as a tourist after meeting an Australian in Buenos Aires, and later took up residence. He exhibited widely in Australia, Europe, and South America, returning frequently to Chile, which, thematically and politically, remained a focus for his art. He worked primarily with the quotation of cultural ephemera (e.g. newspaper photographs, advertisements, etc.). Originally noted for his adaptations of Pop art in an effort to rewrite the international history of painting from a provincial or Third World perspective, he increasingly developed a hybrid pictorial language that refused the strict confines of Modernism or Postmodernism, seen, for example, in Fable of Australian Painting (1982–1983; U. Sydney, Power Gal. Contemp. A.). His art deals with fragments, attempting to present a utopia of narrative from another place and time. In canvases such as ...


Jim Barr and Mary Barr

(b Christchurch, NZ, Nov 6, 1948).

New Zealand sculptor. After graduating from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1973, Dawson taught drawing systems at Christchurch Polytechnic. In 1978 an exhibition titled House Alterations at the Brooke Gifford Art Gallery in Christchurch established him as a sculptor. It introduced a number of characteristics that continued to be significant in his work: the sculptures were constructed from mesh, wire and wood, they were hung on the wall and they played with aspects of perception as mediated by systems of drawing. In 1984, now a full-time sculptor, he was commissioned to produce a large, permanent outdoor work, The Rock, for the Bank of New Zealand in Wellington; it was one of a series of permanent or temporary site-specific projects.

Dawson was included in the exhibition Magiciens de la terre held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989. For the exhibition he constructed Globe, a hollow, fibreglass representation of the earth as photographed from outer space. It was suspended above the plaza outside the museum. The translation of photographic sources into sculpture, which he explored for ...


David P. Millar

(Norman Pat)

(b Hamilton, June 30, 1923).

New Zealand painter. While working as a primary teacher in Rotorua, Day was influenced by an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Wilfred (Stan) Willis, who as an amateur painter had a passion for Picasso and Braque. Fascinated by Willis’s experiments with Analytical Cubism and later encouraged by John Weeks at Auckland’s Elam School of Art, Day began a lifelong artistic commitment to exploring the structure of the visual world. A journey to London in 1949 enabled him to see the important exhibition of Cézanne’s work at the Royal Academy, while the work of Gris and Braque in Paris confirmed for Day the future direction for his painting.

In 1952, while studying for a BA at Victoria University, Wellington, Day began to exhibit with like-minded painters in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and London. Then in 1963, having completed his BA, he and his wife, Oroya, sailed to London, both to study art history. Day commenced a BA Honours degree in Art History at the Courtauld Institute; the first New Zealander ever to do so. Art history introduced him to 15th-century Florence, where an artistic revolution had rediscovered optics, linear perspective and the mathematics of proportion and composition. The intellectual continuum that linked these Italian pioneers with the latter-day experiments of the Cubists greatly stimulated Day’s subsequent work....


Traudi Allen

(b Trieste, 1947).

Australian painter of Italian birth. De Clario became an Australian resident in 1956. He began to win art awards from his early 20s: the Italia Prize for painting (1969), the Perth International drawing Prize (1971), the Corio Prize for Painting, Geelong Art Gallery (1973), the Minnie Crouch Drawing Prize (1973), the Mildura Non-Permanent Sculpture Prize (1975), the University of NSW acquisitive prize (1987), and the University of Queensland Museum, National Artists’ Self Portrait Award (2011).

The conceptual thrust of his work has been expressed in painting and drawing and in performances with atleast part installation settings. His early interest in psychologically driven autobiography gave way to deconstructions of religious iconography, from the Catholicism of his Italian background to Hinduism and Buddhism. Performances have often centred on the artist, blindfolded to stress his role as medium, playing all night piano improvisations that stand as a trope for the temporal, visual, aural, and emotional sensations of mindful attention. His painting is also psychologically and spiritually orientated and translates his interest in the phenomenology of life to layers of physical paint....


Anne Kirker

(b Maryborough, Queensland, Feb 6, 1957).

Australian Aboriginal installation artist of the Kuku and Erub/Mer peoples (see fig.). Deacon became an artist after receiving formal university training in politics and spending 10 years as a teacher. Her first substantial debut as a self-taught artist was in 1991 at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Sydney. By 1995 her staged photographs, installations and videos, which radically reappraise black feminine subjectivity, territorial rights and western canons of ‘high art’, earned her a place in the Johannesburg Biennale of that year and in Documenta 11 (2002). Effective through its pointed rawness and wit, Deacon’s work debunks the myths of ‘white fella’ histories of national identity and reclaims the kitsch of popular culture. Destiny Deacon: Walk & Don’t Look Blak, an exhibition held in 2004 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), was her first solo museum exhibition.

Deacon’s imagery largely falls within the realm of social portraiture and satire, partly fictitious and partly autobiographical. Her characteristic use of dolls in her rudimentary photographic tableaux brings her troubling messages home through childhood toys. The dark-skinned dolls are often depicted as mutilated or are placed in simply constructed settings that present Aborigines as second-class citizens: impoverished or socially maligned. For instance, we are encouraged to imagine two trouser-clad males sitting in a gutter near a graffiti wall with a box of matches alongside ready for striking, or a woman hanging clothing on a line, in domestic servitude, or a female child (from the so-called ‘Stolen Generation’) captioned ...


M. Stapleton

(b 1900; d 1942).

Australian architect. His major work began in 1929 when he won the competition for the Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, with a design for a monumental, blocky and sculptural building to commemorate World War I. The Memorial, completed by 1934, incorporates sculpture by Rayner Hoff and emotive architectural imagery to contrive a building closely allied to the popular sentiment of the period. Dellit was one of the first Australian architects to embrace modern architectural forms, and he became an outspoken critic of the use of historic motifs in contemporary city buildings. His highly personalized architecture used the decorative motifs and forms of the Art Deco style. His commercial work in Sydney included the Liberty Cinema (1934; destr.), with a striking, stepped Art Deco façade; Kinsela Funeral Chapel (1933), now remodelled as a nightclub, designed in Art Deco-inspired ‘gothic’; and the office blocks Kyle House (...


Philip Goad

(b Sydney, Dec 13, 1944; d Melbourne, Aug 17, 1990).

Australian architect and urban planner. He studied architecture at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, graduating in 1967; he later completed a Master’s degree in town and country planning there (1977). From 1967 to 1972 he worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works in Sydney, where he had been a cadet (1963–6). After travelling in the UK, Europe and Asia, he was invited in 1975 to establish and direct a multi-disciplinary team to plan the Woolloomooloo Redevelopment Project (1975–81) for the Housing Commission of New South Wales. This project, involving the rehabilitation and redevelopment of a large historic inner city precinct between the centre of Sydney and Kings Cross, predominantly with public housing, received local and international acclaim as a demonstration of effective community consultation and urban regeneration. Following this success, Devenish joined the Ministry of Housing in Victoria and from 1981 to 1983...


Judith O’Callaghan

(b Geelong, Victoria, Oct 9, 1931).

Australian silversmith, jeweller and designer, active in England. He trained at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, the Royal College of Art, London, and Columbia University, New York, between 1950 and 1962. Based in London from 1965, he specialized in the production of elaborately decorated wares distinguished by the extensive use of textured surfaces, filigree and gilding, frequently incorporating figurative and floral motifs. His range of products, which includes flatware, hollow-ware and jewellery, extends from large sculptural presentation pieces to such luxury novelty items as surprise eggs. He also designed the first Australian decimal coins (1965), commemorative medallions and insignia, as well as interiors and furniture. Devlin was made a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company by special grant in 1966 and elected a liveryman in 1972. In 1980 he was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George ‘for services to the art of design’ and in ...


Judith O’Callaghan

(b ?Edinburgh, 1791–1800; d Sydney, Feb 15, 1843).

Australian silversmith of Scottish origin. He probably trained as a silversmith in Edinburgh before emigrating to Australia in 1824. After his arrival in Sydney, he was employed in the workshop of James Robertson (b 1781), a watchmaker who also traded in silver. By 1826 Dick was advertising as a gold and silver plate manufacturer, brass-founder and plater. Within two years his workshop staff included two jewellers and two silversmiths, all assigned convicts. In 1829 he was convicted on a charge of receiving stolen spoons and transported to Norfolk Island. Pardoned in 1833, he returned to Sydney where within a few years his expanded workshop offered services in watchmaking, jewellery, gilding and engraving as well as the manufacture of silver plate. Among his commissions was a gold cup (destr.)—possibly the first executed in the colony—made for the Sydney Races in 1834. Dick retired c. 1842. His widow, Charlotte Dick (...


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. ...


R. J. Riddel

[Smith, Robert].

(b Dunedin, New Zealand, June 9, 1868; d Sydney, July 23, 1920).

Australian architect. Educated in Brisbane, Australia, he served his articles with the architects Hay & Henderson in Edinburgh (1886–90) while also studying at the Edinburgh Architectural Association where he formed a lasting friendship with architect Robert Lorimer. From 1890 to 1894 Dods worked in several prominent London offices, including the fortifications branch of the Imperial War Office, Dunn & Watson, and in the office of Aston Webb. He was admitted to the RIBA in 1891 and in the same year travelled to Italy. He was awarded a special prize in the Tite Prize competition (1893) and a medal of merit in the Soane Medallion (1894). Dods returned to Brisbane in 1896 having won a competition for a nurses’ home at the Brisbane Hospital, and entered partnership with architect Francis Hall (1862–1939) as Hall & Dods (1896–1916). The practice enjoyed a variety of commissions from domestic work (where Dods adapted the Queensland timber vernacular in a radically new way) to commercial buildings, hospital and ecclesiastical work. Significant work by Dods in Brisbane includes the New Zealand Insurance Building (...


Jeanette Hoorn

(b Perth, Jan 31, 1969).

Australian Aboriginal painter and photographer of Badimaya and Yamatji descent. Convent educated, she trained at Curtin University and at the Claremont School of Art, both in Perth, between 1992–5. Dowling gained broad recognition from the late 1990s with her confronting and haunting paintings that tell stories about her family and the history of British colonialism and race relations in Western Australia (see fig.). Rather than working in a traditional indigenous vocabulary, Dowling paints in a global style, incorporating a remarkable range of traditions. These include social realism, icon painting, Pop art and Surrealism, as well as Australian indigenous art. She combines these styles in a unique way in paintings that range from miniature icons to large studio portraits. Her style is ‘painterly’ and Post-modern, her imagery decidedly political.

Photographs from her childhood spent in suburban Perth are the basis for some of her group portraits. These family snaps act as an aide-mémoire in her paintings and her work is influenced by and contributes to the international debate that the French historian Pierre Nora’s work has engendered around history and memory. Her ...


Jim Barr and Mary Barr

(b Wellington, NZ, Dec 27, 1930; d Wellington, NZ, July 24, 2005).

New Zealand painter and printmaker. After training as an art teacher he was awarded the National Art Gallery travelling scholarship in 1957 and studied at the Central School of Art and Design in London. His initial interest in textile design shifted to printmaking and he gained wider experience from 1960 to 1961 in printing workshops in Paris. He was one of a number of New Zealand artists working in England at the time, including Melvin Day (b 1923), Patrick Hanly and Don Peebles (b 1922). He was commissioned to produce a large mural for New Zealand House in London, completed in 1963.

Drawbridge returned to New Zealand in 1964 to teach in the School of Design at Wellington Polytechnic. He continued to produce both paintings and prints, particularly the group Tanya Coming and Going (1967; Canberra, N.G.). He also completed further major official commissions. One was a kinetic work for the New Zealand pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan: a rotating dish behind the mural caused light passing through perspex rods to ripple across the work’s surface. A similar effect was achieved when this mural was reworked for installation in the National Library, Wellington (...


Edward Hanfling

(b Hastings, March 21, 1930; d New Plymouth, Dec 8, 2011).

New Zealand sculptor, painter, printmaker, and installation artist. His art primarily involves assemblage, often with an eye to colour relationships; it also incorporates diverse sources including American modernism, African, and Asian art. Driver had little formal training and worked as a dental technician before he began sculpting with wood, clay, and dental plaster during the 1950s. Between 1960 and 1964 he produced assemblages and collages reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg, though Driver was not aware of the American’s work then (e.g. Large Brass). In the United States from March to August 1965, he developed an interest in Post-painterly Abstraction as well as in Jasper Johns’s works. References to New York are manifest in his mixed-media wall relief La Guardia 2 (1966; Auckland, A.G.). The Painted Reliefs (1970–74) with their horizontal panels and strips of varying width and depth, mostly painted but sometimes aluminium, indicate the impact of American abstraction, notably that of Kenneth Noland. ...


C. Barton

(b Nelson, Dec 8, 1951).

New Zealand sculptor and performance artist. He studied at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (1974–6), and at the University of Edinburgh (1975). Between 1976 and 1981 he worked primarily as a performance artist. Using gallery spaces and other locations outside the institutional framework, he undertook a variety of ritual activities involving a carefully selected range of materials—bones, skin, willow, copper and wax—which he used to explore the connections between human and animal, natural and cultural, in an attempt to restore a psychic and physical balance between the two. Earth Vein (1980) is a performance and photodocumentation piece in which Drummond inserted 500 m of copper pipe into a disused water-race in a remote region of Central Otago. By sealing each segment of pipe with muslin and beeswax, he metaphorically alluded to the healing of the body, a gesture that clearly articulated his attitude to the land....


Patrick McCaughey

(b Bognor Regis, Feb 7, 1912; d Sydney, June 29, 1981).

Australian painter and photographer of English birth. His family settled in Melbourne in 1923, but Drysdale visited Europe twice in the early 1930s; on his second visit in 1932–3 he was particularly excited by the work of Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The experience confirmed his desire to be an artist.

After returning to Melbourne, Drysdale studied for two years with George Bell, who ran the only school devoted to the teaching of modern art. In May 1938 Drysdale returned to Europe to continue his studies with Iain McNab (1890–1967) at the Grosvenor School of Art in London and then with Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. Such works as the Rabbiter and his Family (1938; R. G. Casey priv. col., see Dutton, p. 23) demonstrate his early interest in Australian rural life.

Drysdale returned to Australia in ...


Janine Burke

(b Melbourne, Oct 14, 1941).

Australian painter. She studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1959–62). Her style was formed during the 1960s, when the prevailing taste was for hard-edge, colour-field abstraction. Kandinsky’s work influenced her towards an exhilarating use of colour, Bridget Riley’s work towards an exploration of optical effects. Vital to Dumbrell’s art was her ability to combine and synthesize, bringing to her work a greater personal touch without forsaking its mathematically precise arrangement and introducing elements resonant with the abstract patternings of other cultures. In Harmattan (1976; Canberra, N.G.), short vertical lines form a tightly woven grid that unifies the composition; contrasting reds and blues and blues and greens are arranged so that the whole surface seems to vibrate. Dumbrell began to expand the grids into increasingly lighter configurations in such works as Spangle (1977; Sydney, A.G. NSW), where the lines abut one another in livelier, less rigid patterns....


John R. Neeson

(b Ballarat, Victoria, 1946).

Australian photographer, film maker, painter, and installation artist. Dunkley-Smith studied at Ballarat Teacher’s College (1964–5), Melbourne Teacher’s College (1966), Ballarat School of Mines and Industries (1967–71), and at Hornsey College of Art, London (1974–6). Since the late 1970s, Dunkley-Smith has made an enduring foundational contribution to analogue and digital, time-based, and venue-specific installation practice in Australia. Initially trained as a painter, Dunkley-Smith’s work with film and multiple slide projection installations date from the mid-1970s when he was living in London. His installations are characterized by duplicate and triplicate screens and sequences of images of time-based works that utilize procedural methods addressing the relation of pattern to indeterminacy, aspects of representation, and audience desire.

In 1982 Dunkley-Smith was awarded an Overseas Fellowship at the Institute of Art and Urban Resources PS1, New York. From 1987 all his works were styled Perspectives for Conscious Alterations in Everyday Life...


Robert Smith

(well Spencer)

(b Sydney, April 22, 1911; d July 27, 1992).

Australian photographer (see fig.). By 1929, when he joined the New South Wales Photographic Society, he had been an enthusiastic photographer for five years. In 1930 he began exhibiting and became assistant to Cecil Bostock (1884–1939), a leading commercial photographer and devotee of Pictorial photography. Dupain studied art at the East Sydney Technical College and at Julian Ashton’s Art School in Sydney. Within three years he had left Bostock and broken with the Impressionist effects of Pictorialism in favour of European-derived styles emphasizing form, dramatic contrasts and adventurous choice of subject. After a subsequent period of experiment with various modern artistic idioms, by the late 1930s he achieved a distinctive personal style based on perceptive and imaginative attitudes to subject-matter. His work had a growing documentary tendency possessing an affinity with developments in the USA.

During World War II Dupain worked first in a camouflage unit and then for the Department of Information (until ...