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An image of Still life by Sali Herman

Sali Herman

(Switzerland, Australia 12 Feb 1898 – 03 Apr 1993)

Still life
Media category
Materials used
oil, newspaper collage on canvas

89.0 x 91.7 cm stretcher; 107.9 x 110.6 x 5.7 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated bot. c., black oil "S.Herman 40".
Purchased with funds provided by Bond Street City Freeholds Ltd 1989
Accession number
© Sali Herman Estate
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

'He is aware that colour also has its architecture. So each of his paintings has its relations of warm and cool colour, of dark to light tones, of flat to modulated surfaces, of rough to smooth textures.'
Bernard Smith, 1948

Sali Herman arrived in Melbourne in 1937, well versed in contemporary art practices of the era, having viewed modern paintings in Switzerland and France. Forthright and articulate with ideas about painting, he strove to make a contribution to the modern movement in Australian art.

'Still life' encapsulates Herman's vision, presenting the viewer with an abstract composition executed in paint and collage. The work depicts a fishing boat on the shore with the day’s catch on the sand, set in an ambiguous space. The incised netting and fish scales add visible texture to the work, while the newspaper fragment adhered directly to the canvas points to cubist influences.

Bibliography (2)

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Moderns', pg. 103-104, Sydney, 2000, 129 (colour illus.), 300.

Daniel Thomas, Sali Herman, 'Pre-war Sydney', pg. 15-18, Sydney, 17. plate no. 8 (colour illus.); 'Collection: Mr Steven S. Hutter'

Exhibition history (1)

Still life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jul 2013–23 Apr 2014