(Australia 12 Aug 1890–1964)
85.7 x 109.9cm board; 87.5 x 112.4 x 3.1cm frame
In the early 1940s, Ralph Balson moved towards complete abstraction, referring to his new flat, geometric compositions as ‘constructive paintings’. His 1941 show at Anthony Hordern’s gallery in Sydney has been acclaimed as the first entirely non-figurative solo exhibition in Australia. Balson continued painting in this vein for the next 15 years.
Around 1950, Balson simplified his forms further towards rectilinear shapes, echoing the abstractions of Piet Mondrian. Later in the decade he moved to a softer colour palette and clearly visible brushstrokes. His colleague Grace Crowley shifted similarly towards geometric abstraction, preserving a more vivid use of primary colours and dynamic movement across the picture space.
Grace Crowley's contribution to Australian modernism and geometric abstraction, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2010, 114, 115 (illus.). figure 5.3
John Murphy (Author), Gallery A Sydney 1964 - 1983, Campbelltown, 2009, 105 (colour illus.), 110, 112.
Nick Waterlow (Australia) (Curator), Annabel Pegus (Australia) (Curator), Symposium papers: Colour in art - revisiting 1919 & R-Balson, Paddington, 2008, 37, 38.
'Ralph Balson: "Painting". Abstracting the invisible' by Nicholas Chambers, pg. 250-251., Art and Australia (Vol. 40, No. 2) Dec 2002-Feb 2003, Dec 2002-Feb 2003, 250.
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, Domain, 2002, 94, 95 (colour illus.), 142, 147.
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, 2000, 104, 128 (colour illus.), 300.
Bruce Adams (Author), Ralph Balson A Retrospective, Bulleen, Jul 1989, 24, 26 (colour illus.), 76. cat.no. 12
'The importance of Ralph Balson' by Paul McGillick, pg. 4-17., Aspect: Art and Literature Winter 1981, Winter 1981, 14 (illus.), 15.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly Jul 1971, Jul 1971, 606, 616, 617 (illus.). Special Gifts
'Small and temporary: but it's a big pointer to the future' by Jill Sykes, pg. 28-29., Look Sep 2011, Sep 2011, front cover (colour illus., detail), 9 (colour illus.), 28.
Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1942), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], 02 Sep 1942–24 Sep 1942.
Ralph Balson: a retrospective, Heide Park and Art Gallery, 15 Aug 1989–24 Sep 1989.
Ralph Balson: a retrospective, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, 06 Oct 1989–19 Nov 1989.
Ralph Balson: a retrospective, Wollongong City Gallery, 01 Dec 1989–28 Jan 1990.
Ralph Balson: a retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 14 Feb 1990–01 Apr 1990.
Ralph Balson: a retrospective, University of Queensland Art Museum, 12 Apr 1990–24 May 1990.
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003.