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William Rose

1929 - 1999


Born in Newcastle, NSW in 1929. After short spells at sea and in factories, Rose studied art at Newcastle Technical College before moving to Sydney where, after further studies, he became a member of what Bernard Smith described as 'the Victoria Street Group' of Sydney abstract expressionists. He was included in the Direction 1 exhibition of abstract artists in 1956, though his painting reveals distinctive differences from what is usually seen as abstract expressionism – a point not lost on the artist who described himself as a constructivist. Intensely cross-hatched grids seeming afloat over a white ground remained a fixed format throughout his career, though the move from the vertical and horizontal structure of the early work to the diagonally slated grids of the later period gave the work a fresh dynamic rhythm with intuitive connections to classical music (which he loved, and played incessantly in his studio). His work was included in significant important national exhibitions in the early 1960s, notably Recent Australian Painting, Whitechapel Gallery, London (1961) and Antipodean Vision, Tate Gallery, London (1963). He held approximately 20 solo exhibitions 1957-91 in Sydney, Melbourne and in Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York 1982 and Lewers Bequest, Penrith Regional Art Gallery 1991.


National Gallery Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; Queensland Art Gallery; Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory; Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; Newcastle Regional Gallery; Rockhampton Regional Gallery.


William  Rose art

signed lower right

Artwork Title:
Untitled, 1958
Oil on Board
40 x 50cm

signed lower right

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