Jeffrey Smart

Learning Resource

The painting of a closed art gallery with one painting hanging in the window, in an empty shopping mall.

Jeffrey Smart
Art gallery in shopping arcade


Art gallery in shopping arcade
1985 Tuscany, Italy
oil on canvas
80 x 100 cm
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth
© The Estate of Jeffrey Smart

Smart was deeply concerned with abstraction, geometry and colour in his work. You can see this in Art gallery in shopping arcade, in particular in the contrast between vibrant colour and shadows, the layering of rectangular shapes and his careful construction of perspective.

Looking at this painting, what do you see? Count how many rectangles you can find in the painting.

Can you see the painting in this painting? What is the subject of that work?

Listen to the sound work by Martin Kay. Can you describe three sounds you hear? Do any of these sounds belong in the scene in the painting?

Looking at Smart’s painting, what other sounds do you think might belong in Art gallery in shopping arcade? Can you make any of these sounds using your body or objects found around you?

Now, with a sheet of paper and a pastel or crayon, listen to Martin Kay’s sound recording and mark on the paper the lines and shapes that come to mind as you listen. Enjoy the feeling of making marks inspired by these sounds. You could even close your eyes while you do it.

From the Audio Tour:

Music composed by Martin Kay

Hello, my name is Martin Kay. The following composition incorporates a recording of an isolated underground space overlaid with a stethoscope recording of my own body, offering a sonic consideration of the psychological and observational dimensions of this Art gallery in shopping arcade work.