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Jeffrey Smart

Born 1921

Biography:

Born in Adelaide, 1921, Smart started drawing at an early age on anything he could find. In 1948 he travelled around Europe and studied in Paris at the La Grand Chaumiere and later the Academie Montmartre under Fernand Leger. In 1950 he lived on the island of Ischia in the bay of Naples, where he painted with Donald Friend, Michael Shannon and Jacqueline Hick. When he ran out of money in 1951, he moved to Sydney and spent the next 12 years there as art critic for the Daily Telegraph (1952-54), arts compere called Phidias for an ABC children’s radio program called The Argonauts and as a drawing teacher at the National Art School. From 1956 to 1962, he also presented on ABC-TV's Children's Hour. Smart was also employed by The King's School in 1954/6 as an Art teacher, following Jean Bellette and John Passmore.

He exhibited throughout this period at the Macquarie Gallery. In 1962 he returned to Italy, and has lived there ever since, regarding himself as an "Australian living abroad", carrying an Australian passport.

Some critics have even referred to Smart’s paintings as portraying ‘Orwellian gloom’ – a statement referring, in particular, to George Orwell’s literary political masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four. James Gleeson believed that Smart’s paintings are “too real to be real”; and believes that his realist portrayals of 20th century life are nothing more than superb geometrical compositions and bold colour, of man in his naturalistic, man-made environment.

Smart’s work has appeared in several significant exhibitions of Australian Art abroad including The Whitechapel and Tate Gallery exhibitions of Australian Art, 1962, The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, 1966 and Australian Paintings and Tapestries of the last 20 Years, NSW House, London, 1972.

Represented

National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Ballarat Regional Gallery, Newcastle Regional Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Australian National University, Sydney University, Yale, USA

Jeffrey Smart art

Signed "Jeffrey Smart" lower right Reference: Macdonald, P., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, p.157, cat. 48

Artwork Title:
Study for The Golf Links, 1970
Medium:
Oil on Board
Size:
43cm x 49.5cm
Description:

Signed "Jeffrey Smart" lower right Reference: Macdonald, P., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, p.157, cat. 48

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