Guy Grey Smith : A Tribute

11 Brown Street, East Perth WA 6004
Start Date
24 January, 2002
End Date
3 March, 2002

Guy Grey-Smith was active in promoting the rights of artists and their role in the community, and is recognised for his contribution to the development of contemporary art in Australia through the legacy of his own individual practice, and as a teacher.

During his lifetime, Guy Grey-Smith was an important focus for The Holmes à Court Collection, resulting in a comprehensive representation of his work.  This selection of paintings, drawings and prints from The Collection, pays tribute to one of Western Australia’s most prominent artists.

Guy Grey-Smith   (1916-1981)

Guy Grey-Smith was born in Wagin, WA in 1916. After a time working on his father’s farm, he joined the RAAF as a cadet and was seconded to the R.A.F in 1937. In 1939 he married in Godmanchester, England and soon departed to France as a Flight Lieutenant due to the outbreak of war. Captured in 1940 after being shot down, he was interned at one time with Howard Taylor and at this time he became seriously interested in art. He began to sketch and paint using pencils and watercolours.

In 1944 he was sent to Barcelona with other prisoners of war for exchange. Back in England he spent six months at a sanatorium where art therapy was part of the treatment. In 1945 he enrolled at Chelsea School of Art and also studied pottery part-time at the Woolwich Polytechnic. In 1948 he returned with his family to Western Australia, teaching art therapy and in 1949 opened his first solo exhibition. In 1981 he was awarded the Order of Australia and during his life was included in many touring exhibitions. With other artists such as Brian McKay and Tom Gibbons he promoted the modernist movement and was a champion of artist’s independence and their role in society.

Guy Grey-Smith had an abiding love of the Australian bush and expressed his experiences and observations in the post impressionist manner common to most of his abstractions of the landscape. Blocks of high colour build effects of light and shade both in the figure and the landscape. This exhibition includes early and late works by the artist.

References:       Guy Grey-Smith; Paintings and Works on Paper 1948-81, a selection from The Robert Holmes à Court Collection; The Blaxland Gallery, Sydney & Melbourne; 1988  Guy Grey-Smith’s Landscapes of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, Perth, 1996

Please note that images are available for reproduction including high colour paintings and serigraphs. 

All enquiries please contact Anne Meredith, Gallery Manager.

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