Before the Imperative of Scale:
Selected works from the TWMA collection
Before the Imperative of Scale features works from the TWMA collection from the 1950s and 60s, a period when Australian artists tended to produce paintings on a more intimate scale, inviting speculation as to the reasons for their smaller size: perhaps the artist thought they would be more likely to sell; maybe the materials they used were all that they could afford; or possibly the works were originally created for a domestic setting.
Featuring works by Ralph Balson, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, John Brack, Janet Dawson, Ian Fairweather, Joy Hester, Godfrey Miller, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh among others, the exhibition also lends further weight to the theory that many Melbourne modern artists at this time were exploring figuration while Sydney artists were more indebted to the influences of European abstraction. Furthermore, as the paintings by Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen and Fred Williams attest, this period also saw the emergence of an independent visual language which redefined the way the Australian landscape was represented.