‘a fascinating show on an explosive theme’
Escape the darkness of winter for the light-filled landscapes of the Australian Impressionists in the first UK exhibition of its kind
Showcasing four innovative Australian Impressionist artists, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, and John Russell, this exhibition explores Impressionism in an Australian context – closely related to yet entirely distinct from its European counterparts.
From ‘snapshots’ of life in the rapidly teeming cities of Melbourne and Sydney to dazzling landscapes of coast and bushland, the paintings of Roberts, Streeton, and Conder came to epitomise a growing sense of national identity as Australia approached Federation in 1901.
Russell, by contrast, was an Australian expatriate who spent almost his entire career in France, counting Van Gogh, Monet, and Matisse among his friends. Like fellow artists in Australia, Russell embraced plein air painting to capture the fleeting effects of light in the landscape but became increasingly experimental in his use of colour.
Featuring loans from some of Australia’s leading museums and private collections, many of which have never been seen in the UK, this exhibition invites you to reconsider how Impressionism was understood at the time, as an international phenomenon which transformed itself as it travelled the globe.
This exhibition is organised by the National Gallery, in collaboration with Art Gallery of New South Wales.