Grace Crowley: Being Modern

27 July - 28 October 2007

Grace Crowley (1890-1979) was one of the great ‘modern Australian women’ whose pioneering paintings of the 1920s and 30s revitalised art in this country. Now, nearly thirty years after her death, the national travelling exhibition Grace Crowley: Being Modern offers a fresh look at Crowley’s art, from her renowned modernist and cubist pictures, to her bold geometric abstracts. Bursting with vibrant colour, this important exhibition introduces a new generation to this sophisticated, experimental artist who worked at the cutting-edge of modern art in Australia, and will be on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide from 27 July to 28 October.

In what is only the second retrospective of Grace Crowley’s work, Being Modern features fifty-five paintings, drawings and ephemera from the artist’s forty-year career. It presents some of Crowley’s best-loved modernist portraits and landscapes, alongside her lesser-known but more adventurous geometric paintings from the 1940s to 60s. Works have been drawn from public and private collections around the country and some have not previously been on public display.

Abstract painting
Grace Crowley, Abstract painting, 1953, oil on hardboard, State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia; Bequest of Grace Crowley 1981.


Included in the exhibition are three of the most admired works from the Art Gallery of South Australia’s own modern Australian collection: the striking cubist Portrait of Gwen Ridley, 1930, the French provincial landscape Mirmande, 1928, and Abstract painting, 1953.




Exhibition sponsor



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