Jeffrey Smart

Stop 2 of 32

A painting of a large pile of junk including huge pipes, boats, signs and wires. Two men sit among the pile, one on top and one on the ground in front.

Jeffrey Smart
The salvagers

Creation date: 1946

The salvagers
1946 Tarntanya/Adelaide
oil on canvas
51 x 61 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Members Acquisition Fund 2015
© The Estate of Jeffrey Smart

Although Smart’s practice is dominated by imagery drawn from urban life, some of the paintings he produced in the 1940s depict the barren outskirts of towns and seemingly arid Australian landscape. In The salvagers, two boys are set amid industrial wreckage that appears to have washed ashore. Paintings such as this and Kapunda mines show the influence of Australian painter Russell Drysdale who Smart met in 1946. Both artists shared an interest in the surreal suggestiveness of British painters such as Graham Sutherland.