Jeffrey Smart (1921-2013) Second Study for The Plastic Tube, 1980

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Lot 17
Jeffrey Smart
(1921-2013)
Second Study for The Plastic Tube, 1980

Sold for AU$ 207,400 (US$ 145,292) inc. premium
Jeffrey Smart (1921-2013)
Second Study for The Plastic Tube, 1980
signed lower left: 'JEFFREY SMART'
oil on canvas on board
43.0 x 71.0cm (16 15/16 x 27 15/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Rudy Komon Art Gallery, Sydney
    Private collection
    Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane (label attached verso)
    The Estate of John Fairlie Cuningham, Sydney

    EXHIBITED
    Jeffrey Smart, Rudy Komon Art Gallery, Sydney, 8 November - 3 December 1980, cat. 11

    LITERATURE
    Peter Quartermaine, Jeffrey Smart, Gryphon Books, South Yarra, 1983, p. 117, no. 767
    John McDonald, Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, p. 160, no. 217

    RELATED WORKS
    Working drawing for The Plastic Tube, 1980, pencil and acrylic, 84.0 x 120.0cm, Private collection
    First Study for The Plastic Tube, 1980, oil on canvas, 31.0 x 47.0cm, private collection
    The Plastic Tube, 1980, oil and acrylic on canvas, 84.0 x 120.0cm, Private collection

    Smart's eye captures the tension between the inanimate, yet dynamic, tube and the stillness of the figures controlling its energy and constrains them to the confines of his canvas. The coiled plastic activates the space between the three figures and, like a spring, threatens to burst-out. Similarly, the city high-rise behind the temporary fencing appears to be preparing for its own incursion into the vacant plot. Nothing seems more alive in the painting than the tube itself.

    In another related painting of the same year, Portrait of David Malouf (in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth), the same tubing reappears but is now calmly manipulated and controlled by the distinguished author.

    With such significant works as The Guiding Spheres (Homage to Cezanne) II, and Autobahn in the Black Forrest II (both in private collections), dating to this same year, Second Study for The Plastic Tube represents Smart at the peak of his powers.
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