Russell Drysdale

Russell Drysdale

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Russell Drysdale

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Sir George Russell Drysdale, AC (7 February 1912 – 29 June 1981) was an Australian artist. He won the prestigious Wynne Prize for Sofala in 1947, and represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1954. He was influenced by abstract and surrealist art, and "created a new vision of the Australian scene as revolutionary and influential as that of Tom Roberts".Osborne, Harold, ed. (1970) Oxford Companion to Art, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Young life and career

Geor Russell Drysdale was born in Bognor Regis, Sussex, England, to an Anglo-Australian pastoralist family, which settled in Melbourne, Australia in 1923. Drysdale was educated at the Geelong Grammar School. He had poor eyesight all his life, and was virtually blind in his left eye from age 17 due to a detached retina.

Drysdale worked on his uncle's estate in Queensland, and as a jackaroo in Victoria.. A chance encounter in 1932 with artist and critic Daryl Lindsay awakened him to the possibility of a career as an artist. Supported by a fellow artist, Drysdale studied with the modernist artist and teacher George Bell in Melbourne from 1935 to 1938. He also made several trips to Europe; during 1938–39, he attended the Grosvenor School in London and the Grande Chaumière in Paris. By the time of his return from the third of these trips...
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