Truck and trailer approaching a city
26 Jul 1921 - 20 Jun 2013
'Truck and trailer approaching a city' presents a frozen moment, in which Jeffrey Smart’s use of space, scale, colour and form evokes a sense of alienation.
'The painting is in two squares. I wanted to see if I could bring off a satisfactory composition which had a line down the centre, dividing it into two equal parts ... This is the first painting in which the apartment houses have that really impersonal quality I see in them ... I have been able to give them the grid look, amazingly similar to the pattern of memory cells in a computer. The sky is painted mainly with raw umber and mauve – with so much red, a neutral area was absolutely necessary.'
Jeffrey Smart, 1999
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
75.0 x 150.4 cm stretcher; 90.0 x 164.5 x 8.8 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, blue and black synthetic polymer paint "JEFFREY SMART". Not dated.
Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1980
© Estate of Jeffrey Smart
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981
Jeffrey Smart - A review exhibition (1982), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Jun 1982–08 Aug 1982
The Artist and the City:
Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986
Jeffrey Smart retrospective (1999-2000):
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Australian modern masterpieces from the Art Gallery of New South Wales:
Jeffrey Smart: constructed world, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 May 2019–29 Sep 2019
Referenced in 22 publications
Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 'Hard work: A new show reminds us of the limitations of colour-field abstraction', pg. 12-13, Canberra, 17 Oct 2009-18 Oct 2009, 13. Focus room 'Tackling the field' exhibition review.
Edmund Capon, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'John Brack / Jeffrey Smart', pg. 116-127, Sydney, 2002, 121 (colour illus.), 146, 147.
Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 48 (illus.). cat.no. 57
Chris Gibson and John Connell, Sydney: the emergence of a world city, 'Artistic dreamings: tinseltown, sin city and suburban wasteland', pg. 292-318, South Melbourne, 2000, 315 (illus.). fig.no. 14.7
Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Postmodern and postcolonial Australia', pg. 492-501, Carlton, 2013, 492 (colour illus., detail), 496 (colour illus.), 553, 568. plate no. 45.3
Elwyn Lynn, Modern Australian Painting, 1970/1975, 'Introduction', pg. 7-11, Unknown, 1976, 75 (colour illus.). plate no. 106
Barry Pearce, Look, 'Parallel Visions: a study of fellow spirits in Australian art', pg. 8-9, Melbourne, Feb 2002, 9 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce, Master of stillness: Jeffrey Smart paintings 1940–2011, 'Search for the timeless', pg. 7-21, Kent Town, 2012, 16 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Jeffrey Smart', pg. 172-183, Sydney, 2000, 179 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The enduring image', pg. 265-266, Sydney, 2000, front cover (colour illus., detail), 272 (colour illus.), 302.
Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 33.
Barry Pearce, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Australian Art', pg. 5-26, Sydney, 1981, 22 (colour illus.). cat.no. 36
Jill Sykes, Look, 'Barry Pearce's next book-call it "segueing with intent"', pg. 28-29, Sydney, Mar 2012, 28, 29 (colour illus.).
Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian 20th Century Art', pg. 71-89, Sydney, 1984, 89 (colour illus.).
Jeffrey Smart, South Yarra, 1983, 113. cat.no. 629
The Artist & the City, Sydney, 1983, cover (colour illus.), 3, 14. cat.no. 30
Jeffrey Smart - A review exhibition, Sydney, 1982, cover (colour illus.), 1, 7. cat.no. 36
Art in the sun, 'Jeffrey Smart b.1921', pg. 48, Brookvale, 2000, 48 (colour illus.).
Modern Australian painting, 1950/1975, Adelaide, 1980, 189 (colour illus.).
Jeffrey Smart, 'Art, love and gestation in Sydney', pg. 92-137, Sydney, 2005, 120-121 (colour illus., detail), 122, 123 (colour illus.), 170, 178, 254.
Jeffrey Smart retrospective, 'Posticcia Nuova 1971-99', pg. 129-185, Sydney, 1999, 136 (colour illus.), 137 (colour illus.), 208. cat.no. 45. The image appearing on pg. 136 is in detail.
Jeffrey Smart: drawings and studies 1942-2001, Sydney, 2001, 93 (colour illus.). figure no. 17; cat.no. 108 is a study for this painting