Dorrit Black was born in Adelaide, South Australia. Around 1909 she began studies at the South Australia School of Arts and Crafts under Harry Pelling (Pelham) Gill and travelled to England and Europe with her parents in 1911-12. She moved to Sydney in 1915 to study at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School and began exhibiting in 1916. In mid 1927 she left for England where she began studying lino-cutting with Claude Flight at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, London and made her first colour linocuts. In December of that year she went to Paris to study at André Lhote's Academy, interspersed with travel around Europe, where she studied with the Cubist Albert Gleizes and met the inspirational art educator Franz Cizek in Vienna. She returned to Sydney late in 1929 but kept in close contact with Claude Flight for a decade after her return.
This is a view of Wynyard Square, Sydney. It is adjacent to the site of 'The Modern Art Centre' which Black established and ran briefly from 1932-33 at 56 Margaret Street. This print was illustrated in Harry Tatlock Miller's Geelong-based modernist literary and art journal Manuscripts in November 1932. Other titles under which it was exhibited include 'Wynyard Square' and 'Reconstructions, Wynyard Square'.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
Audio: Sydney moderns Nocturne, Wynyard Square
Reconstructions, Wynyard Square
linocut, printed in black ink from one block, on thin ivory laid mulberry paper
22.6 x 15 cm blockmark (irreg.); 25.3 x 17.2 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed within block to print l.r., incised "DB [monogram]". Not dated.
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Art Deco and works from the period (1980), S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, 16 Jun 1980–14 Jul 1980
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Mar 1995–04 Jun 1995
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Nocturne: images of night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, 23 Apr 2002–16 Jun 2002
Australian Collection Focus: Colour, Rhythm, Design - wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Mar 2010–11 Jul 2010
Professor Sadler, Japan and Australian modernism, University Art Gallery, University of Sydney, Camperdown, 03 Apr 2011–24 Jul 2011
Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013
Referenced in 11 publications
John Buckley (Curator), Nocturne: images of night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington, 2002, 26. no catalogue number
Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 16 (colour illus.).
Stephen Coppel, Linocuts of the machine age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor school, 'The Australians: Dorrit Black, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme', pg. 65-68, England, 1995, 156 (illus.). cat.no. DB 16; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Deborah Edwards, Daphne Wallace, Margo Neale, Victoria Lynn and Sandra Byron, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 72 (illus.). cat.no. 61
Josef Lebovic, Masterpieces of Australian printmaking, Sydney, 1987, 12, 13 (illus.). cat.no. 10; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Tracey Lock-Weir, Dorrit Black: unseen forces, Catalogue entry (no catalogue numbers), Adelaide, 2014, 202 (illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.
Martin Terry, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Modern destinations', pg. 132-139, Sydney, 2013, 132, 189 (illus.), 217, 310, 320,.
Sarah Thomas, Art and Australia (Vol. 44, No. 1), 'A wider vision: Dorrit Black's Modern Art Centre', pg. 98-103, Sydney, Sep 2006-Nov 2006, 98 (colour illus.), 99.
Maria (Connie) Tornatore-Loong, Japan in Sydney: Professor Sadler & modernism, 1920-30s, 'The remarkable Professor Sadler: Japan, Sydney and Australian modernism', pg.7-49, Sydney, 2011, 32, 40 (colour illus), 136. cat.no. 20
Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 13