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Australian art

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Canal Street



David Aspden

Australia, England

01 May 1935 - 26 Jun 2005


Aspden spent much of 1980 in the United States, including a residency at the Australia Council’s Greene Street Studio in New York. The year, with its new and diverse visual and intellectual stimuli, was a regenerative experience and resulted in a marked change in Aspden’s work, with the compression of forms into the foreground of the canvas, a darkening of his palette and a return to oil paint after many years of favouring acrylic. The dense urban environment of Manhattan, and especially the rooftops of buildings, was a direct stimulus for this painting and the related Ali’s bar (New York).




Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


241.0 x 168.0 cm stretcher; 244.5 x 172.0 x 4.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. verso, red (oil?) "... ASPDEN 80".


Purchased 1981


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

David Aspden

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Mosaic and figure', pg. 213-214, Sydney, 2000, 237 (colour illus.), 300.

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 14, 45 (colour illus.). 5

Jeffrey Makin., Sun, 'Outback at its best', Sydney, 18 Mar 1981.

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Harmonious effects', pg. 14-15, Sydney, 13 Aug 2011-14 Aug 2011, 14 (colour illus.), 15. Article appears in 'Spectrum' supplement.

Anne Ryan, David Aspden: the colour of music and place, 'David Aspden: the colour of music and place', pg. 6-11, Sydney, 2011, 9, 10, 50 (caption), 51 (colour illus.), 82, 88.

Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983, 3. 18

David Aspden, Melbourne, 1981, cover (colour illus.). 15