Click on one of the small images to scroll through.
Down the hills to Berry’s Bay 1916
Roy de Maistre
Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor 1919
Implement blue 1927
The rose c1928
Grace Cossington Smith
The curve of the bridge 1928-29
Silos through windscreen c1935, printed 1970s
Dog gymkhana 1939
Construction in green 1942
Abstract – the kitchen stove 1943
Questions, activities and more information
Audio available, with transcripts, on the Gallery channel.
Roland Wakelin Down the hills to Berry’s Bay 1916
With particular attention to the composition, subject matter, application of paint and colour relationships, discuss how this painting shows characteristics of modernism. Can you also identify the influence of Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne in this work?
Roy de Maistre Rhythmic composition in yellow green minor 1919
Curator Deborah Edwards suggests this painting is a metaphysical counterpart of Wakelin’s Down the hills to Berry’s Bay with its own great spiral curve (of hill), its segmented (train) form broaching a rise and its vortex (of sparkling harbour water). Why do you think she has come to this conclusion? Compare and contrast these works with reference to this point of view.
Margaret Preston Implement blue 1927
What does the term ‘implement’ suggest? Preston claimed Australian modernism was built on metaphors of the 'geometrically derived’ machine. Analyse Implement blue from this perspective.
Thea Proctor The rose c1928
Modernity extends beyond art into all aspects of living. Develop a case study of Proctor’s modernist approach in her life and her work, with reference to particular examples including The rose.
Grace Cossington Smith The curve of the bridge 1928-29
Deconstruct this image, looking at forms, colours, spatial depth and subject matter. Create a visual record of this work and use it as inspiration to create a painting of a landscape that you feel positive about.
Max Dupain Silos through windscreen c1935, printed 1970
What is the role of the viewer in this work and how does this influence the way we perceive the image? What else would change about the image, its impact and meaning if it were in colour?
Frank Hinder Dog gymkhana 1939
Hinder approached artmaking in a planned rather than an emotive way. Look at the way Hinder has approached this painting, including the preparatory studies on the Gallery collection. Describe what you see as well as the way it was conceived and realised. What is the overall effect?
Note: only children’s audio available for this work
Ralph Balson Construction in green 1942
Document the path to abstraction using Balson’s body of work in your discussion. Account for his influences, including other artists and society at the time. Research what happens next in abstract art.
Eric Wilson Abstract – the kitchen stove 1943
What do you initially see when viewing this work? With closer investigation, what else do you see? How does Wilson draw your eye to particular parts of the composition? What are the similar and contrasting elements? Is this a thorough investigation of the subject? Does it offer more to viewers than a more traditional approach? Begin a conversation about this work in class with these questions in mind.