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Jeffrey Smart

It is an eerie measure of a movie’s power when you come out at the end of it and sense, however fleetingly, that you’re still a part of its world, or that its world is all but indistinguishable from the everyday one you’ve just re-entered. German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder was grand master of this trick. His compatriot Pina Bau ...

This timely monograph presents the life and work of an artist whose paintings have altered the way we see the modern world, particularly the industrial landscapes fringing our cities. Jeffrey Smart’s intensely realised paintings have the effect of making the ‘familiar strange’. They force us to reconsider both our relation to and perception of man-made environments, dominated as they are by factories, apartment blocks, freeways and street signs. Smart’s paintings display a mastery of classical composition, light and perspective as well as revealing the artist’s ongoing concern with the interplay between realism and abstraction. The 252 plates included in this volume allow the reader to appreciate the development of Smart’s unique oeuvre over a period spanning more than sixty years. Accompanying these illustrations is a text by Australian modernist scholar and curator Barry Pearce. This provides a valuable addition to the existing literature on the artist.

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