Jeffrey Smart

Stop 8 of 32

A cubist sketch of a woman sitting and twisting to the side, done in charcoal grey on yellowing paper.

Jeffrey Smart
Seated nude

Creation date: 1942

Seated nude
1942 Tarntanya/Adelaide
drawing in pencil
49.5 x 36 cm (sheet)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Purchased 2001
© The Estate of Jeffrey Smart
Photo: AGNSW
436.2001


In the early 1940s, South Australian artist Dorrit Black shared with Smart and others details of dynamic symmetry and the golden mean which she had studied overseas. Smart’s only Cubist work, Seated nude combines interlocking geometric shapes in a manner similar to Black’s House-roofs and flowers. In his 1996 autobiography, Smart acknowledged Black’s influence in understanding the process of composition-making: ‘Dorrit taught us above all to make pictures, to examine the bare bones of composition. The design, the composition, was all-important. The word that impressed was “when you make a picture”.’