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Title

Picture of Donald Friend

(1948)


Artist

Russell Drysdale

England, Australia

07 Feb 1912 - 29 Jun 1981


About

"In the heat of a late afternoon, the stifling air red with dust, the main road empty of life, he conveys a difficult and lonely existence, where man constantly battles against the elements."
- Paul Haefliger 1948

In mid-August 1947, prompted by a Sydney Morning Herald article on the deserted gold towns of New South Wales, fellow artist Donald Friend suggested to Drysdale that they make a trip to the Bathurst area to run in Drysdale's new car. On the way to Hill End where they spent the night, they stopped at Sofala, 200 kilometres west of Sydney.

The resulting 'Sofala', also in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is one of Drysdale's finest, most powerful paintings. With its compelling evocation of the atmosphere and ambience of a oppressively hot summer afternoon in the deserted main street of this historic country town, it transcends literal description of a particular place, to become an expression of the quintessential qualities of an inland Australian town.

Drysdale's later portrait of Donald Friend standing outside the rear of Hill End's Presbyterian church, is a tribute to their friendship and association with these towns whose unique qualities were cherished by both artists.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000


Details


Other Title

Portrait of Donald Friend


Date

(1948)


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on hardboard


Dimensions

121.5 x 91.4 cm board; 140.3 x 110.3 x 6.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Russell Drysdale". Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1949


Location

Not on display


Accession number

8170


Artist information

Russell Drysdale

Artist profile

Works in the collection

37


Shown in 15 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 22 publications

Bibliography


Famous Australian artists, The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1964: Souvenir Catalogue of special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, Famous Australians, Adelaide, 1964. cat. no. 8

Giles Auty, The Weekend Australian, 'Country characters', pg. 19, Sydney, 27 Dec 1997-28 Dec 1997, 19 (illus.). This article appeared in the 'Arts' section of 'The Weekend Australian'.

Helen Campbell, Look, 'Russell Drysdale 1912-1981', pg. 14-15, Heidelberg, Apr 1998, 14 (colour illus.).

Russell Drysdale, The paintings of Russell Drysdale: reproducing fifteen plates in colour with an essay by Joseph Burke, 'List of works and owners, 1951', pg.47-52, Sydney, 1951, 51.

James Gleeson, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Russell Drysdale', pg. 39-43, Sydney, Oct 1960, front cover (illus.).

Paul Haefliger, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Drysdale, Fox exhibitions', pg. 7, Sydney, 23 Mar 1949, 7.

Unknown and Paul Haefliger, Russell Drysdale; a retrospective exhibition of paintings from 1937 to 1960, Sydney, 1960, 57. cat.no. 55

Robert Lindsay., Aspects of Australian Art: Art Gallery of New South Wales travelling art exhibition 1976, 'Russell Drysdale', Sydney, 1976, (illus.). cat.no. 53; not paginated

Tatlock Miller, Sun, 'Russell Drysdale's fine exhibition', pg. 12, Sydney, 23 Mar 1949, 12.

Hal Missingham, Artists by artists, Sydney, 1954, 8, (illus.). cat.no. 21

Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart selections, Sydney, 2002. NOTE: No catalogue numbers; titled 'Portrait of Donald Friend'; Margaret Olley selection.

Andrew Sayers, Unknown and Unknown, Open air: portraits in the landscape, 'Open air: Portraits in the landscape', pg. 3-66, Sydney, 2008, 39, 42, 44 (colour illus.).

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Donald Friend: memories of an artist and good companion', pg. 29-31, Sydney, Feb 2007, 29 (colour illus.).

Daniel Thomas, Hemisphere, 'Drysdale's art changed the Australian outlook', pg. 12-18, Sydney, Nov 1960, 16 (illus.).

Gavin Wilson, The artists of Hill End, 'The Hill End group', pg. 41-96, Sydney, 1995, 66 (colour illus.), 69, 73, 84, 93, 119. plate no. 31

Unknown, The artists of Hill End: Education guide, Sydney, 1995, front cover (colour illus.). fig.no. 3. Image appears in detail

Unknown, The life and work of Russell Drysdale, 'Photographs and imagination', pg. 59-66, Kensington, 1983, 61, 93, 274 (colour illus.), 367. plate no. 89

Unknown, Russell Drysdale, London, 1964, 135 (illus.), 187. plate no. 49

Unknown, Russell Drysdale 1912-1981, Melbourne, 1997, 23, 108, 109 (colour illus.). cat.no. 35

Unknown (Printer), Russell Drysdale: retrospective exhibition 1937 - 1960, Sydney, 1960. cat.no. 55

Unknown, A selection of eighty-two reproductions mainly from the Australian collection and including examples from the British, French and Dutch [Art Gallery of New South Wales], Sydney, 1959. plate no. 40

Unknown and Unknown, Face to face: Australian portraits, Sydney, 1986, (illus.). cat.no. 25