Provenance: Macquarie Galleries, Sydney; Private Collection. Sydney
Exhibited: Roland Wakelin Memorial Exhibition (1887-1971), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 29 March – 17 April 1972 (label on reverse)
Note: The theme of figures in an interior, in particular his own house and family, was a significant one in Wakelin’s oeuvre. For related paintings over the years, see Leslie Walton, The Art of Roland Wakelin, Craftsman House, 1987, plates 30, 45, 53, 60 and 66.
Please note all images are copyright the artists Charles Nodrum Gallery, 267 Church Street, Richmond 3121 p: (03) 9427 0140 email
Provenance: Holland Fine Art, Sydney (old label verso); possibly Toorak Galleries, Melbourne, c 1970.
Exhibited: A Group of Modern Painters, Grosvenor Galleries, Sydney, November 1926, no 17 (25 gns) – the inaugural exhibition of the group, known as the Contemporary Group from 1932.
Literature: Leslie Walton, The Art of Roland Wakelin, Craftsman House 1987, plate 23 (illus) and p 22 for the nature of the Group: led by George Lambert and Thea Proctor, they included Roy De Maistre, John D. Moore, Elioth Gruner, Kenneth MacQueen, Margaret Preston and Roland Wakelin; and the response to the show, which was decidedly negative: The Daily Telegraph led with ‘Decadence in Art: a Group of Moderns’ and the Sun dismissed all save Lambert, Proctor and Gruner as “eccentric” examples of French Modernism.
Provenance: Joseph Brown Gallery 1976; Private Collection since then
Exhibited: Joseph Brown Gallery, Spring Exhibited 1976, no 62
Provenance: Joseph Brown Gallery, 1981;
Private Collection, Melbourne since then
Exhibited: Joseph Brown Gallery, September Exhibition, 1981, no. 117.
Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller, The Art and Life of Weaver Hawkins, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1995, see plates 7, 9, 12, 18 and 22, for examples of his landscape paintings from the 1920s to the 1940s. Stylistically, this work occupies a middle ground between his more straightforwardly depictive works and those using a more conscious stylisation and abstraction. Psychologically, it may relate also to the then growing fear of atomic war: whilst bushfires are natural disasters, the artist’s Atomic Power painted the following year (Chanin, plate 19) was a gaunt depiction of a shattered and blackened landscape.
Provenance: Raokin Collection, Sydney; Private Collection, Melbourne
Exhibited: Contemporary Art Society, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 18 April – 1 May 1956, No 58, 60 gns; Weaver Hawkins, ‘Raokin’ Exhibition, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 4 – 17 June 1958, No 35, 75 gns
Reference: Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller, The Art and Life of Weaver Hawkins, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1995, see plates 27 – 31 for other works of the 1950s employing “Weaver’s calculated constructions, with their insistent tilting planes, thrusting diagonals and acute colour contrasts, [which] were too disturbing for patrons” at the time (Chanin, op cit). This might seem odd, given their clear and firm roots in geometric abstraction and Cubism, neither of which were new, though admittedly not to the public’s taste; this was probably particularly the case in Sydney where the late 1950s saw the emergence of a predominantly painterly and expressive abstraction at odds with Hawkins’ more formally structured work.. With the benefit of hindsight (seriously helped by Heide’s masterly Cubism and Australian Art exhibition in 2010 (for which this painting would have been an interesting candidate, had it been available) it can now be seen as an exemplary work of its time and place.
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