Carl Plate's appreciation of international modernism influenced his intuitive and expressive paintings, which were strongly founded in his interest in nature, landscape and organic forms, and commitment to abstraction.
He sought to reconcile unconscious creative impulses, randomness and chance with an empathetic response to nature and by the early 1960s almost all obvious references to the material world had been subsumed in his art. Throughout, Plate retained his natural affinity for harmonious form and composition, and particularly, lyrical colour.
Returning to Sydney from Europe in 1940, Plate established himself as an artist, exhibiting his work locally and internationally, until his death in 1977. He re-established the Notanda Gallery in Rowe Street as a centre for British, International and Australian art which was to have a significant impact on successive generations of students and artists as one of the rare sources of visual material and information on modern art in Sydney. An indefatigable advocate for modern art, he was one of the most active members of the Contemporary Art Society in NSW from its earliest days.
Plate first experimented with printmaking in the late 1950s in Paris, but the bulk of his small printmaking oeuvre are the screenprints and lithographs he made, again in Paris, in 1968 where he had gone to observe the transformation of two of his paintings into tapestries at the Aubusson tapestry workshop. The prints were developed as gouaches, before being editioned as prints at the Atelier Michel Cassé, a lithography workshop.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007
gouache on white wove paper
50.0 x 65.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated lower c., black gouache "Carl Plate Paris 68".
Gift of Jocelyn Plate 2007
Not on display
© Estate of Carl Plate