Bridge from North Shore

Margaret Preston is best known for the striking paintings and woodcut prints that she produced from the 1920s until the 1950s. Bridge from North Shore is a bold and decorative work and a fine example of the artist’s style during this period. Like the floral still-lifes the artist produced at this time, many details of…

Church interior

Church interior depicts Grace Cossington Smith’s family place of worship, St James’s Anglican Church in Turramurra, Sydney. The painting alludes to the impact of the Second World War on the home front by the absence of men of enlistment age in the congregation. Church interior exhibits the pure, singing quality of her finest paintings and…

Morning Star Poles

The dramatic group of 76 Banumbirr (Morning star poles) from Galiwin’ku, Arnhem Land resemble those used annually in north-eastern Arnhem Land ceremonies that celebrate the morning star (the planet Venus). The Morning Star poles are on show at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in ‘Lucent: Aboriginal and Pacific works from the Collection’ until 30…

Aboriginal still life

Margaret Preston returned to Australia from Europe in 1919 determined to develop a modern and distinctly national art. Indigenous art was integral to her campaign and, after 1932, when she moved to Berowra in the Hawkesbury Basin near Sydney and encountered local rock art, she embraced its restricted palette and geometric forms. Her appreciation of…

Vale: Sydney Ball

We farewell Adelaide-born abstract painter Sydney Ball (1933–2017), who passed away in March. Ball moved to New York in 1962 where, through his studies, he was exposed to the rise of Abstract Expressionism, rubbing shoulders with Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Willem de Kooning. Returning to Australia three years later, he…