Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours




Australian art

View More:





Dorrit Black


23 Dec 1891 - 13 Sep 1951


Inspired by a jazz night at the Dominion Arts Club, London, Black has placed dancing figures and pianist amidst a dynamic, zigzagging pattern of lines and earthy colour to evoke the lively beat of the ‘new’ music. 'Music' is one of Black’s earliest prints, made while studying at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art under Claude Flight. It was shown at the first exhibition of linocuts to be held at London’s Redfern Gallery in 1929.




Media category


Materials used

colour linocut, printed from five blocks on thin cream laid tissue




24.1 x 21.3 cm image; 31.1 x 24.6 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner within image, pencil "D.B". Not dated.


Purchased 1976


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Dorrit Black

Works in the collection


Shown in 9 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 16 publications


Roger Arthur Butler, Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955, Canberra, 2007, 205. NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Roger Arthur Butler and Chris Deutscher, A survey of Australian relief prints 1900/1950, Armadale, 1978, 92 (illus.). edition 10/50; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 16 (colour illus.).

Stephen Coppel, Linocuts of the machine age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor school, 'The Australians: Dorrit Black, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme', pg. 65-68, England, 1995, (colour illus.), 66, 152 (illus.). plate no. 31; DB I; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Deborah Edwards and Denise Mimmocchi, Look, 'Sydney Moderns', pg. 24-28, Sydney, Jun 2013, 24 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Daphne Wallace, Margo Neale, Victoria Lynn and Sandra Byron, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995. no catalogue numbers; not paginated

Renée Free, Modernism 1900-1950: prints and drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1994.

Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Dynamic modernism', pg. 228-239, Carlton, 2013, 232 (colour illus.), 233, 549, 556. not AGNSW impression; plate no. 23.4

Jane Hylton, Modern Australian women: paintings & prints 1925-1945, 'Modern Australian Women', pg. 14-27, Adelaide, 2000, 25 (colour illus.), 57, 121. Collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia

Tracey Lock-Weir., Dorrit Black: unseen forces, 'The modern medium: colour linocuts', pg.143-167, Adelaide, 2014, 8-9 (col. illus detail),148, 149 (colour illus.), 154 (colour illus.), 199 (cat. entry). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Making Sydney modern: the artistic shaping of the postwar city', pg. 66-85, Sydney, 2013, 79, 178 (colour illus.), 310, 320.

Susannah Smith, Look, 'Women's work: their diverse and significant contribution to the modernist art scene', pg. 13-15, Sydney, Aug 2013, 14.

Helen Topliss, Modernism and Feminism Australian Women Artists 1900-1940, Sydney, 1996, 142 (colour illus.), 145. Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Maria (Connie) Tornatore-Loong, Japan in Sydney: Professor Sadler & modernism, 1920-30s, 'The remarkable Professor Sadler: Japan, Sydney and Australian modernism', pg.7-49, Sydney, 2011, 28, 35 (colour illus.), 136. 19

Anna Waldmann, Project 39 - Women's Imprint, Sydney, 1982. no catalogue numbers; not paginated

Unknown (Editor), Sun, 'Art & linoleum cut out pictures with umbrella ribs', pg. 8, Sydney, 16 Mar 1930, 8 (colour illus.). author unknown