Rethinking Russell Drysdale: TarraWarra Museum of Art Lecture

Dr Christopher Heathcote

Russell Drysdale Crucifixion 1946, oil on plywood, 76 x 101.6 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney © Estate of Russell Drysdale

TWMA presents a special lecture by exhibition curator Dr Christopher Heathcote in which he explores TWMA’s ground-breaking new exhibition Russell Drysdale: Defining the Modern Australian Landscape.

Heathcote will reveal that Drysdale, one of the most highly regarded artists of his generation both in Australia and internationally, was a man ahead of his time who not only shaped perceptions of the national landscape but used visual art to pose questions about the environment – disturbing questions that society is only now confronting. He will show how the artist highlighted over 50 years ago what he saw as urgent issues facing this country, in many works which soon became an iconic part of the national psyche in their depiction of the Australian landscape, but which also directly confronted problems in this country’s land management, the effects of drought, Aboriginal dispossession and even the devastation of modern war.

Taking a fresh look at this major artist and based on original research by Heathcote, an acknowledged expert on the artist’s work, the exhibition also reveals the underpinning symbolism of Drysdale’s outback imagery and his efforts to blend landscape painting with surrealism. Heathcote will also speak about his new Wakefield Press publication Russell Drysdale: Defining the Modern Australian Landscape which explores the artist’s embrace of modernism and his ongoing importance within the story of Australian art.

Date: Sunday 10 November 4pm – 5pm, Followed by refreshments

Tickets: $20 adults / $15 students

Venue: TarraWarra Museum of Art, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road

Bookings: or Ph: (03) 5957 3100

About the Exhibition

TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA) is proud to present a significant exhibition of the work of one of Australia’s most iconic landscape artists, Sir Russell Drysdale AC, (1912 -1981).

The curator of Russell Drysdale: Defining the Modern Australian Landscape, is art historian and critic Dr Christopher Heathcote, an acknowledged authority on the artist’s oeuvre who has worked for several years to bring this exhibition to fruition with the support of Lynne Clark, daughter of Russell Drysdale, and the Estate of Russell Drysdale.

The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to reassess Drysdale, an artist whose work has shaped the development of Australian art, within the context of broader questions of modernism in art and the continuing depiction of the Australian landscape today.

More on the TWMA website.