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Bay Road, smoke haze/Bay Road foggy morning

circa 1932


Clarice Beckett


21 Mar 1887 – 06 Jul 1935

  • Details

    circa 1932
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on board
    29.0 x 37.0 cm; 43.5 x 51.5 x 5.0cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with support of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales through the Elizabeth Fyffe Bequest 2022
    South Building, ground level, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Clarice Beckett

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Bay Road, Smoke Haze/Bay Road Foggy Morning' reveals Clarice Beckett’s visual poetry of unregarded things; telegraph poles, a rickety, leaning fence, the bend of a suburban road. With her days spent caring for elderly parents, Beckett found artistic freedom in solitary moments of the early morning and evening. She sought Whistlerian atmopsherics of mists, dawns, rainfall and twilight to create soft and soulful portraits of her modern age.

    Like Grace Cossington Smith (a modernist painter of a very different kind) the telegraph poles of Beckett’s paintings became a signature marker of her contemporary world. They have here a solitary, haunting presence, the rhythmic signifiers of energy that receed into mists. The most inventive of Melbourne’s tonalist painters, Beckett’s 'Bay Road, Smoke Haze/Bay Road Foggy Morning' demonstrates the power of her minimal palette and mark-making that she used to summon the sensory experiences of the outdoors.

    Here, the expanse of grey palette cloaks the world in morning mists, or perhaps the hazed danger of nearby fire (the artist’s title for this work remains unresolved). It was in painting elusive forms of her everyday that Beckett sought meanings of greater, eternal truths.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Rosalind Hollinrake, Clarice Beckett: Politically incorrect, 'Politically incorrect: Clarice Beckett', pg. 7-30, Melbourne, 1999, 26, 66 (colour illus.), 76. plate 36, cat.no. 62

    • Denise Mimmocchi, Clarice Beckett - Atmosphere, 'Evening, St Kilda Road & Bay Road, smoke haze', pg. 45-49, Geelong, 2023, 45-49, 47 (colour illus.), 79 (colour illus.). cat.no. 55

Other works by Clarice Beckett