Darlington landscape
Darlington landscape

Guy Grey-Smith

1916 - 1981 Darlington landscape 1974
  • oil on board
119.8 cm x 89.2 cm

The two elemental forces in Guy Grey-Smith’s work, the structures of landscape and the physicality of paint itself, are powerfully present in this image. Circles, rectangles and triangles of indigo, purple, brown, orange, green, white, pink and violet all jostle and interact in a vision that is both monumental and vibrant.

This late work was made during the artist’s last year in Darlington in the hills east of Perth, where he had lived since the late 1940s.  In the following year, 1975, Grey-Smith and his wife Helen left the Perth hills and moved south to the majestic karri forests of Pemberton. There, he revived his wartime flying skills and was appalled by the felling of the forests and the scale of the destruction visible from his light plane. It was an awful sight for a man who spent most of his life living amongst, travelling through and working in Western Australian terrains, distilling his observations of nature “which is so strong and perfect in itself.”[1]

Text: Robyn Johnston

[1] Guy Grey-Smith interview with Hazel de Berg, National Library of Australia, 1965. Quoted in Melissa Harpley, Guy Grey-Smith: Art as Life, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 2014

More by this artist

Guy Grey-Smith 1916 - 1981 Pianist - Nora Crisp
  • oil on canvas
50 cm x 65.9 cm

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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