Non Objective Grace Crowley

Just before Australian artist Grace Crowley died in 1979, she bequeathed her remaining paintings to Australian art museums and papers to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

I often wonder if artists hold on to particular paintings. The National Gallery of Victoria scored this one and I think it is one of her best.

The beauty of colour and form.

Grace Crowley was one of Australia’s first non-objective painters. Although not recognised for this as she always promoted the work of her friend and partner Ralph Balson ahead of her own. Even the reference label for the painting refers to Ralph.

Crowley had said that it was harder being a female artist and that women’s art was much less acceptable than man’s. She admitted she had thought of using a man’s name hoping they would sell better.

I’ve been trying to understand the structure of this painting for years.

Grace had studied with some of the best in Europe. She then went on to teach all these new ideas which had the basis in concepts like the golden section device to create perfect compositions.

What she achieves in this painting is to show the illusion of transparency while using opaque colours. Quite a hard thing to do. Involes a lot of planning.

See the darker pink slicing through the paler pink.

For all her explorations, it’s the colour and application of paint that pops. She was a wonderful colourist.