Jeffrey Smart: The traveller – QAGOMA Blog

Jeffrey Intelligent (1921-2013) is one of Australia’s most recognised painters, but not since he paints identifiably Australian subjects or locations. Smart has a constant fascination with the present day, and has usually discovered the modern day environment beautiful, whichever his areas.

The scenes that Wise chooses are generally mundane — parks, bus stops, expressways, petrol-stations, visitors obstacles — we know them intimately, they are all way too acquainted, he suggests: ‘I appreciate portray more than anything at all else, and I appreciate portray things I contemplate beautiful’.

In almost all of his paintings, what ever the evident material, sure formal attributes will be present. Smart was absorbed in explorations of shape, balance, color and, over all, light. Through associations of form, he queries for a stillness at the centre of human connections with urban landscapes — what can make Smart’s paintings so disturbing is the sense that time has stilled to capture just this a single instant.

Jeffrey Sensible ‘The traveller’

Jeffrey Intelligent, Australia/Italy 1921-2013 / The traveller 1973 / Synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas / 100.5 x 116cm / Acquired 1975 with the help of an Australian Govt Grant via the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council / Assortment: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern-day Art / © QAGOMA

Good released to his function a rather stolid gentleman in a dim fit who would subsequently recur in his function as a form of everyman. The traveller 1973 (illustrated) is a specially potent case in point of Smart’s use of this nameless determine, the traveller alighting from the bus is a ‘type’, a carrier of stories.

The man’s isolation is stressed by the way he is dwarfed and boxed in involving two buses. The bus livery on each sales opportunities the eye instantly to the traveller, the diagonals squeezing and framing him involving the enclosed area, even repeated in the angle of his briefcase. The block of anonymous housing residences driving with their repeating balconies go on the claustrophobic composition.

No ponder the traveller emerging from a person bus only to be confronted by his reflection in the bus opposite, poignantly indicates the dropped, dislocated existence of humanity in the present day world.

DELVE Further: The lifestyle and artwork of Jeffrey Wise

Jeffrey Intelligent, Australia/Italy 1921-2013 / The traveller 1973 / Synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas / 100.5 x 116cm / Bought 1975 with the assistance of an Australian Govt Grant via the Visible Arts Board of the Australia Council / Selection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern-day Artwork / © QAGOMA

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