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The Art Gallery of South Australia’s current exhibition Dorrit Black: unseen forces celebrates the life work of influential Adelaide-born artist Dorrit Black.

As early as 1918 Black passionately aligned herself with the modern cause and she would later dedicate her life to the promotion, exhibition and teaching of modern art in Australia. Born into a privileged Adelaide family with international connections, she lived without money constraints but with a heavy social conscience. She worked to constantly renew her art but struggled with little exhibiting opportunities and in a conservative Australian art society shaped by two World Wars and the Great Depression.

Despite these challenges, Black was exceedingly resilient and moved from a late impressionist style to Cubism in the 1920s, and after permanently settling in Adelaide in 1935 she developed a highly original form of expressive realism to record the inherent vitality of the natural world.

Dorrit Black: unseen forces reveals Black’s unsuspected influence on the story of Australian art and, with almost 200 works of art on display, we can see for the first time the extraordinary innovation in her life’s work.

The Art Gallery of South Australia is offering an opportunity to get closer to one of Australia’s leading twentieth century artist through a comprehensive lecture and workshop program including:

French Influences: Cubism and rural life Join art historian and writer, Dr Bruce Adams, for an exploration on the two variants of cubism that inspired Dorrit Black’s work. This lecture compares the teachings of André Lhote with the ideas of Albert Glezizes. Saturday 12 July, 1pm.

Modern Methods Adelaide artist Lisa Young leads a weekend workshop exploring the classical principles of modern design using still life. Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 August, 10am-4pm.

Face to Face Learn the ideas and techniques of cubist portraiture with Adelaide artist Deidre But-Husaim. Work with oil paint and pastel to create your own portraits inspired by the masters of modernism.

Bookings are essential for all lectures and workshops, call 08 8207 7035 to secure your place.

Dorrit Black: unseen forces runs until 7 September at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Find out more about the dedicated events program online at   

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