Tuesday, 4 July 2017

William Dobell at Tarrawarra

The Waverley Art Quilters go on an excursion every year and this year we went to the Tarrawarra Museum of Art to see the William Dobell exhibition.

William Dobell was an Australian artist who lived from 1899 to 1970.

Here is his self portrait painted in 1932.

William Dobell-self portrait 1932

He was involved in controversy when he won the Archibald Prize (a prestigious portrait competition) in 1943. Two competitors began a court case saying that Dobell's portrait of Joshua Smith was a caricature and not a portrait. The actual portrait is on display at the gallery.

Joshua Smith by William Dobell.

They lost the court case and Dobell retained the prize but the court case affected him greatly and he retreated from public life for a while and painted landscapes. He must have recovered though because he won the Archibald prize two more times.

He did have a distinctive way of painting portraits, he wanted to paint the person's personality and nature rather than an exact likeness.

Here is his painting of Dame Mary Gilmore painted in 1957.

Dame Mary Gilmore by William Dobell

There are many other wonderful paintings by William Dobell as well as many sketches that he drew before he started his paintings. It is so interesting to see them.

As well as all his paintings there are also paintings in a section called Dobell's Circle, which are paintings by his friends; they used to meet and discuss painting together. He had some famous friends.

We loved seeing these as we have already studied many of these artists in our group and we have found that we really appreciate the artist and their paintings if we have read about them previously.

There are some paintings by Jeffrey Smart; his paintings are so distinctive.

The Overpass, Sienna by Jeffrey Smart 1984

People in a Cornfield on the Cliffs by Jeffrey Smart 1968

There was a still life by Margaret Preston.

Flannel Flowers by Margaret Preston 1922

There was also a still life by Margaret Olley, she loved colour.

Still life by Margaret Olley 1962
There was an artist that we haven't studied but I can't resist mentioning it because it just glowed. It was Evening by Russell Drysdale, my picture does not do it justice.

Evening by Russell Drysdale 1945

As well as all the paintings there are the beautiful views onto the landscape around the gallery.

It is a beautiful gallery and the paintings are so well displayed and beautifully lit. I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Here is a photo of our wonderful group, not everyone could make it but those that did really enjoyed the day.

The Waverley Art Quilters
The exhibition is on until August 13th 2017 and the address of the Tarrawarra Museum of Art is 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville, Victoria.

Bye for now,


jude's page said...

Very interesting Linda, sounds like a good day out.

Linda Steele said...

It was a lovely day and such a good exhibition Jude.

Robbie said...

Feel like I just had an art history class lecture!! Thanks...very interesting!!!

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Robbie, I hope it was interesting and not boring like school!