Art Essay: Australian Art 1901 to 1930
Australian art from 1901 to 1939 was very much affected by styles from Europe. The major artists of the era were Rupert Bunny, George Lambert, Sydney Long, Margaret Preston, Hans Heysen and E Phillips Fox. The era did not have a distinct movement but modernism was a popular style of the period. In the style portraits and pictures of buildings were popular.
Modernism or the Modern Movement began in the late 19th century and reached its peak in 1910s and 1930s. Modernism rejected the traditional way of painting.. Modernist artists tried to return the art back to the basics and rejected conventional methods. Modernism art allowed freedom of expression and experimentation.
Australian modernism was influenced by European modernism, in particular by cubism, which explored the three-dimensionality of objects, and fauvism, which favored color and design. Women artists played an important role in the development of Australian modernism. In the movement artist no longer choose to imitate nature. The artist placed great importance on form, especially the argument of line and colour. The movement began in Australia in 1913,in Sydney and it finished in 1939, in Melbourne. Roland Wakelin, Margaret Preston Roy de Maistre and Grace Cossington Smith were some of the many Australian artists who painted in the style of the modern movement.
Three famous women artists who took to modernism were Nora Simpson, Grace Cossington Smith and Margaret Preston. Nora Simpson’s is often seen as being one of the driving forces behind the style when she returned to Sydney from Europe in 1913 with reproductions of the work of French painters. Grace Cossington Smith is seen as a leader of modernism in Australia and her painting The Sock Knitter (1915) is recognized as a key modernist work. One her greatest contributions to modern painting occurred when she formed the ‘Contemporary Group’ in 1926 with Roland Wakelin and R...
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