The Adelaide modernists and mavericks

The 1950s in Australia was a period of transformation. The influx of European migrants saw a melding of cultures that transformed perspectives and approaches to food, architecture, film, literature, and art. Now, Carrick Hill is paying tribute to the European émigrés to Adelaide, in an extensive exhibition showcasing over 30 artworks by 25 Australian artists.

Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns surveys the modernist art of the area during the 1950s and 60s, where traditions changed and new styles emerged in expressive, abstract ways. The represented artists include, but are not limited to, the likes of John Baily, Syd Ball, Dora Chapman, Lynn Collins, Ludwik Dutkiwicz, Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz, Barrie Goddard, Barbara Hanrahan, and many more.

“We are delighted to bring together this remarkable collection of artworks, celebrating the dynamic and innovative spirit of the mid-century modern movement,” says Carrick Hill director, Susan McCormack. “During this transformative era, Adelaide’s art scene experienced significant flux, welcoming artists with diverse backgrounds and fresh artistic approaches.”

View, in pictures, the vibrancy of the Adelaide modernists.

Claridge House.

Robert Boynes, b. Adelaide 1942, Eternal roll-up, 1969, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 183 x 183 cm. South Australian Government Grant Art Gallery of South Australia © courtesy Robert Boynes. Robert Boynes left Adelaide for England in late 1967 and spent two years there, absorbing the various strains of British Pop art. Eternal roll-up was part of an exhibition, about twelve, held at Bonython Gallery, Sydney, on his return. This featured a series of super-sized, airbrushed cigarettes, hovering between Pop hyper-realism and abstraction. He was acclaimed by art critic Elwyn Lynn in the Bulletin as ‘a master of the spray technique that enables him to give the banal a magical glow’.

Barbara Hanrahan, b. Adelaide 1939; d. Adelaide 1991, Beauty and Bob 1964, London, lithograph printed in red and black inks on paper, 63 x 51 cm. Gift of Jo Steele 1996 Art Gallery of South Australia © courtesy estate of the artist. In 1963-4 Barbara Hanrahan studied at the Central School of Art in London and it was here that her work underwent a transformation as she responded to the Pop culture of London and was exposed to the prints of artists including David Hockney and Peter Blake. She developed a series of extraordinary etchings, including Beauty and Bob, about sex, the female body, love and the sub-culture of Swinging London. She returned to Adelaide for a year in 1965 and produced Buddy Holly and the mods and rockers.

Mid-Century Install -Images at Carrick Hill. Luke Simon Photography.

Mid-Century Install -Images at Carrick Hill. Luke Simon Photography.

Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns: Émigrés, mavericks and progressives
Carrick Hill
2 August—15 October