Cairns QLD, Australia
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Sun 15 September 2024 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Saturday, repeating until Sun November 3, 2024

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Sunday, repeating until Sun November 3, 2024

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until Sun November 3, 2024

Cairns Art Gallery

Modernist Connections – Collection In Focus Exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery

The Australian tropics held a fascination for many of Australia’s modernist artists, including Brett Whitely, Ian Fairweather, Lawrence Daws, Ray Crooke, Tony Tuckson and Fred Williams.


From the 1950s to the 1980s these artists repeatedly visited the tropical islands, rainforests and beaches of Far North Queensland. Stories of how they connected with and were inspired by each other’s works are part of a fascinating chapter in the history of Australian art and are explored through works from the Gallery’s Collection in the exhibition, Modernist Connections.


Central to the theme of the exhibition are three works by Lawrence Daws, Brett Whiteley and Ian Fairweather which were donated to the Gallery by the late Ray Crooke. Crooke had a particular connection with these artists and they created works inspired by the tropical paradise of Far North Queensland.


Lawrence Daws and Brett Whiteley had an enduring friendship that began in the 1960s. In 1961 they represented Australia at the Paris Biennale des Jeunes, and in the 1970s Daws and his wife Edit went to Bribie Island where they again spent time with Whiteley and met other modernist artists including Margaret Olley, John Olsen and Russell Drysdale.


Later Daws and his wife moved to the Glasshouse Mountains and established a studio at Owl Creek where they continued to work and welcome artists that included Brett Whiteley and his wife Wendy. The free and easy lifestyle they shared at this time is captured in Daws’s drypoint etching titled Brett Whiteley at Owl Creek 1978, which was generously donated to the Cairns Art Gallery by Ray Crooke in 1999.


Modernist Connections explores the extraordinary friendships and connections between some of Australia’s finest modernist artists, forged largely through a shared passion for Queensland and life lived on on-the-edge in the tropics.


Exhibition Runs: 31st August – 3rd November 2024


Entry: Free Entry


For more information please visit the Cairns Art Gallery website.


Please check directly with the Cairns Art Gallery for opening hours on Public Holidays.


Image: Lawrence DAWS, Brett Whiteley at Owl Creek 1978 , drypoint etching, 51.5 x 50.5 cm, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Ray Crooke, 1999.



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Sun 15 September 2024
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Cairns Art Gallery
+61 7 4046 4800
View Organiser Website


Cairns Art Gallery
40 Abbott St
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia
+ Google Map
+61 7 4046 4800
View Venue Website