(Australia 12 Aug 1890 – 1964)
Portrait of Grace Crowley
- 20th & 21st c Australian art
- Further information
Ralph Balson arrived in Sydney in 1913 and was, by trade, a plumber and housepainter. In the early 1920s he began classes at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School, before joining a small band of Sydney-based artists, including Rah Fizelle, Frank and Margel Hinder and Grace Crowley. Balson quickly absorbed their structural approach to painting, based largely on cubist principles.
Portrait of Grace Crowley depicts Balson's mentor, and reveals his experimentation with pictorial ideas introduced to Crowley in Paris by the influential teacher and painter, André Lhote. Painted in Crowley's studio, the work is executed
in a quasi-abstract style, a prelude to the complete non-figuration Balson unveiled to the Australian public in a historic solo exhibition in 1941.
- oil on canvas on cardboard
- 108.8 x 64.3 cm board; 126.0 x 81.5 x 4.5 cm frame
- Signature & date
- Signed and dated l.l. corner, red oil "R.BALSON 39". Signed and dated top c. verso, "R. Balson/ ... 1939 ...".
- Bequest of Grace Crowley 1980
- Accession number
- © Ralph Balson Estate