Detail of Ormiston
Australia, Austria, Hungary
15 Aug 1920 - 03 Nov 2015
This is one of the earliest paintings made by Judy Cassab following her first visit to Central Australia in May 1959, painted in the artist’s Sydney studio from a similar-sized oil study made at Ormiston Gorge in the Northern Territory. It was purchased by the Gallery in the same year from an exhibition of Cassab’s work in London; a review in The Times likened her style with an English tendency to ‘equate (the landscape’s) small forms with its large ones’, in the manner of Graham Sutherland.
Her visit to Ormiston Gorge was recorded in her diary: "…. around me were marble piazzas, surreal shapes in mauves and purple and pink and giant pebbles of the same hue. My eyes watered from the brilliance of the stripes and dots on those marble rocks, washed and polished smooth by waters that disappeared thousands of years ago. Let me add that the verticals and horizontals are so shifted that, although I knew I was straight, it gave the optical illusion of being crooked, and added to the unreality of the walk. Everything stretches about in abundance and magnitude and volume and quantity, massive, intense, noble, extravagant, like every part of the Territory".
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2015
oil on hardboard
69.0 x 69.0 cm board; 80.0 x 80.0 x 3.2 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, light orange oil "Cassab/ 1959".
Not on display
© Judy Cassab
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Referenced in 4 publications
Mark Aronson and Bruce Dyer, Judicial review of administrative action, Pyrmont, 2000, front cover (colour illus.).
Brenda Niall, Judy Cassab: a portrait, Sydney, 2005, 154-159.
Judy Cassab (1959), London, 1959, (illus.). cat.no. 28
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Times, 'Australian landscapes', London, circa Oct 1959, unknown. Exhibition review; Collection of the National Gallery of New South Wales