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Home » PAINTERS » DORRIT BLACK (1891/1951), AUSTRALIAN MODERNIST PAINTER – Woman, who tried to paint in cubist style

DORRIT BLACK (1891/1951), AUSTRALIAN MODERNIST PAINTER – Woman, who tried to paint in cubist style


DORRIT BLACK 1/3 – You should not be surprised if this woman, as so many other women artists, had been despised by the establishment of Australian art, because gender equality still had a long way to go. She was born in Burnside (Adelaide) in 1891. Having a passion for art, she studied at the Sydney Art School and painting at André Lhôte’s Academy in Paris. She was a painter and linoleum artist and took care of a Modern Art Center in Sydney, also exhibiting her artworks at personal exhibitions.

DORRIT BLACK 2/3 – In 1935 she returned to Adelaide, becoming an important character of the Contemporary Art Society, also entertaining journalistic battles in defense of modern art. Australia’s first Cubist landscape (a bridge she painted after her return from Europe) was exhibited at her show at the Macquarie galleries in Sydney. It took many years before her exceptional talent was properly appreciated in her right perspective. In 1940, the Art Gallery of South Australia had acquired a work from 1928: “Mirmande”

DORRIT BLACK 3/3 – She had been part of generation of women (such as Margaret Preston and Grace Cowley) who, traveling overseas, learned to paint in a modernist style. In 1939, she painted landscapes of the Adelaide Hills and the south coast, in her own studio in Masullo (outskirts of Adelaide), not far from where she was born. This modern woman, who belonged to the era, when educated women had to move away from Victorian traditions, died in 1951, after dealing with the consequences of a car crash. Her work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

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