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Australian art

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Painting no 9



Ralph Balson


12 Aug 1890 - 1964


I have long held the belief that the arts of man are his expression in terms of a particular medium of his concept of the universe…

The concept of relativity, the vision of it I get as a painter fascinates me. A Universe without beginning, without end. A continuous creating, destroying, and expanding movement, its one constant the speed of light. (The Space Age). …

I can realize that the energy, the atoms that reach us from the sun is the source, the rhythm of existence, and the very narrow band, the spectrum, is all we can ever hope to have to try and reach a small amount of the rhythm and relativity of the universe with the substance of paint.

Ralph Balson, 1960


Place where the work was made

Pagewood Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on hardboard


137.0 x 137.0 cm board; 140.4 x 140.4 x 5.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, orange synthetic polymer paint "R Balson/ 59".


Purchased 1960


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Ralph Balson

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 9 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 12 publications


Bruce Adams, Ralph Balson A Retrospective, Bulleen, Jul 1989, 33, 82 (colour illus.), 88. 50

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 107 (colour illus.).

David Aspden, The Art Gallery of New South Wales today, 'Ralph Balson: Painting no. 9. Artist's choice no. 20', pg. 94-95, Sydney, 1983, 94, 95 (colour illus.).

Gary Catalano, The years of hope: Australian art and criticism 1959-1968, 'Internationalism', pg. 22-36, Melbourne, 1981, 33 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Moderns', pg. 103-104, Sydney, 2000, 128 (colour illus.), 300.

Christine France, New Directions 1952-1962, 'New directions 1952-1962', pg. 7-19, Sydney, 1991, 43. 52; this work is NOT reproduced on page 27 - the work reproduced is 28 'Abstract', Acc.# 125.1980

Bruce James, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Milking works for a moment in the sun', pg. 13, Sydney, 03 Apr 2002, 13. Review of 'Parallel Visions' exhibition

Paul McGillick, Aspect: Art and Literature, 'The importance of Ralph Balson', pg. 4-17, Mona Vale, Winter 1981, 11 (illus.), 16.

Jane Somerville, Look, 'Ralph Balson: abstract but more truly real with life', pg. 20-22, Sydney, Nov 2006, 20 (colour illus.), 21.

Whitechapel Art Gallery (Compilator), Recent Australian Painting, 'Catalogue', pg. 22-28, London, 1961, 22, n. pag (b&w illus.). 1, plate XX

Natalie Wilson, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Grace Crowley / Ralph Balson / Frank Hinder / Margel Hinder', pg. 88-103, Sydney, 2002, 96, 97 (colour illus.), 142, 147.

Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983. 9