We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.



circa 1940


Sidney Nolan

Australia, England

22 Apr 1917 – 28 Nov 1992

Artist profile

  • Details

    circa 1940
    Media categories
    Collage , Drawing
    Materials used
    collage of wood-cut illustrations on book page
    16.7 x 11.2 cm sheet (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2003
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/DACS. Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Sidney Nolan

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Sidney Nolan created this collage using 19th-century wood-cut illustrations, changing its orientation and juxtaposing disparate images to defy any narrative interpretation. The stark tonal contrast of black and white lends emotive force and a surreal, dreamlike quality. Nolan’s unorthodox approach sought to disorient the senses in order to convey an intense emotional reality, inspired particularly by French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91).

    Fascinated by the multi-functional potential of collage, Nolan combined its sculptural capacity with the shapes and tones of his source materials to create an abstract composition. His patchwork quilt-like structure suggests movement or fracture and forces our perception to slip between surface
    and illusory depth.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

Other works by Sidney Nolan

See all 140 works