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Australian art

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Black on grey



Yvonne Audette


22 Apr 1930 -


Sydney-born Yvonne Audette formed part of a generation of artists (including John Olsen, Robert Klippel, William Rose and Peter Upward) who came to prominence from the mid 1950s with a diverse range of abstract modes aligned to both contemporary European and New York School tendencies. Their work represents the first significant movement of abstract art in this country.

After initially studying under teachers including John Passmore and Godfrey Miller and developing from their tutelage a ‘Cezannesque’ figurative style, Audette left Australia in 1952 to seek further instruction in America and Europe. She first settled in New York where she found herself at the heart of the avant-garde movements of abstract expressionism. The experiences of studying in the city introduced her to a new conception of art.

It was not until Audette left America for Europe in 1955 that she embarked on her first significant series of abstract paintings. Working in Florence in the late 1950s, Audette developed a distinct form of abstraction; one that toned the heady expressionism of the New York School, while maintaining a sense of its gestural energy. She more readily identified with forms of Tachisme, and Art informel; the more subtle movements of European expressionism that would remain as an enduring influence on her work.




Media category


Materials used

oil on composition board


120.5 x 184.9 x 3.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, black fibre-tipped pen "Y A 61".
Dated u.r. verso on stretcher, black ball-point pen "… 1961 / 62.".
Signed u.r. verso on stretcher, black fibre-tipped pen "Audette".
Signed and dated u.l. verso on board, black oil "Audette/ 1961".
Signed l.l. verso on board [vertically], black oil "AUDETTE".


Gift of the artist 2015


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Yvonne Audette

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Kelly Gellatly, Constructions in colour: The works of Yvonne Audette 1950s-1960s, Melbourne, 2000, 15. List of works

Kirsty Grant, Yvonne Audette/Different Directions\1954-1966, Melbourne, 2008. List of works

Christopher Heathcote, Bruce Adams, Gerard Vaughan and Kirsty Grant, Yvonne Audette: paintings and drawings 1949-2014, 'Section 1: 1949-1966', pg. 68-144, South Yarra, 2014, 120 (colour illus.), 247. plate no. 84

Christopher Heathcote, Bruce Adams, Kirsty Grant, Gerard Vaughan and Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Yvonne Audette: paintings and drawings 1949-2003, 'Section 1: 1949-1966', pg. 68-144, South Yarra, 2003, 120 (colour illus.). plate no. 84

Denise Mimmocchi, Look, 'Antiquity and abstraction', pg. 14-15, Sydney, Aug 2016, 14 (colour illus.), 15.