An image of Graph segments

Carl Plate

(Australia 19 Dec 1909 – 15 May 1977)

Graph segments

Not on display
Further information

Following five years in Europe where he studied under Bernard Meninsky, Carl Plate returned to Sydney in 1940, bringing with him an intimate knowledge of works by contemporary British artists, including Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, and Barbara Hepworth, and influencing the subsequent direction of his painting.

Plate's work during the 1940s and 1950s moved progressively towards abstraction, and reflected his belief in the Surrealist theory of unconscious creative impulses, the metamorphosis of natural objects and the expression of extra-sensory experience.

'Graph segments' belongs to a group of paintings produced in the early 1960s notable for their large scale and dynamic application of mellow earth colours, and re-affirm his belief in the employment of randomness and chance in art as practiced by Surrealist artists Paul Klee and André Breton.

In an interview with Laurie Thomas in 1968, Plate remarked:
"One is aware of a dimension which is non-visual - but you can’t be too explicit about it - to make something visually which doesn't relate specifically to anything visual but which exists in a timeless area. A thing which has been created as something to look at must somehow incorporate within itself all the concentrated experience which may or may not create a reaction in the person who looks at it. I would like to think that somewhere, somehow, in my pictures is something that people can respond to; but I'm humble enough to wonder whether they can ...".

Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2001

diptych: synthetic polymer paint on canvas
each panel 137.0 x 183.0 cm stretcher; 137.0 x 366.0 cm stretcher overall; 139.7 x 369.0 x 4.0 cm frame overall :
a - left panel; 137 x 183 cm
b - right panel; 137 x 183 cm
Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. corner right panel [part b], black oil "Carl Plate '63-4".

Purchased 1979
Accession number
© Estate of Carl Plate