Australian Art History

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Australian Art History Q 1. Select an Australian artist- one who has worked since 1900- and whose work appeals to you. Discuss his/her work within the wider historical and social context of the times in which they produced their work. Refer where necessary to specific art works. Charles Blackman, an Australian artist who emerged into the limelight during the 1950s, is well remembered for his eclectic approach to art. As stated in St John Moore, ‘I have always felt that painting is like love, it isn’t static. It calls for constant renewal and new viewpoints’ (1993, p. 1). Through this philosophy, Blackman created a personal art form of great beauty and poignant expressive power, painting tonal illusions and simple figurative images…show more content…
As discussed in Shapcott, (1989, p. 23) Blackman attributes the colours in Alice and the boat as ‘pure plein-air Williamstown’ describing the weekend outings as ‘a real sort of Heidelberg movie’ (1989, p. 24). It was also during this time that abstraction, influenced from the contemporary American experience began emerging in painting (Smith, 1995, p. 287). Non figurative art took artists in different directions during the 1950s. Many gravitated towards abstract and non-objective art in search of enduring values. Looking for acceptance, abstractionists focussed on art prizes. In 1960, the annual Helena Rubinstein Scholarship exhibition drew much attention. To the joy of local figurative artists, Blackman secured the scholarship, a major pivotal point in his artistic career (Heathcote, 1995, p. 135). After years of isolation many Australian artists sought the opportunity to study and work in Europe (Smith, 1995, p. 287). ‘One of my mother’s phrases was “The language of the emotions is something which one has got to learn, to understand one’s fellow man.”’ (Shapcott, p. 7,…show more content…
Eagle, M & Jones, J 1994, A Story of Australian Painting, Macmillan, Sydney. Haese, R 1988, Rebels and Precursors, Penguin Books, Australia, Ltd. Heathcote, C 1995, A Quiet Revolution, The Rise of Australian Art 1946-1968, Text Publishing Co., Melbourne,1995. Ingram, T 1976, Investing in Australian Art, Collins, Sydney. Moore, W 1990, The Story Of Australian Art, Angus & Robertson Publishers, Australia. Rayment, H 1992, Australian Modernism: The Complexity and the Diversity, Malakoff Fine Art Press, Victoria. Sayers, A 2001, Australian Art, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia. Shapcatt, T 1989, The Art of Charles Blackman, Andre Deutch Limited, London. Smith, B (1988)’Art in its social setting’, in Burgmann, V.& lee, J.(eds.) Constructing a Culture: A people’s History of Australia Since 1788 (pp.224-2400. Penguin, Ringwood, Australia. Smith, B 1976, The Antipodean Manifesto: Essays In Art and History, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. Smith, B 1995, Australian Painting 1788-1990, Oxford University Press, Australia. Smith, B 1979, Place Taste and Tradition, Oxford University Press,

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