The antipodean artist’s outback paintings are the focus on this exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art
Surprisingly, Albert Tucker first started painting the Australian outback while in Italy; unsurprisingly, it was Sidney Nolan who put him up to it.
Initially self-taught, Tucker started his artistic career as a comic illustrator, and went on to found the Contemporary Art Society – with Nolan – in the late 1930s. An extended sojourn overseas post-WWII saw him reconnect with fellow Nolan, whose photographs of drought-ravaged Australia kickstarted Tucker’s series of paintings depicting the Australian outback and its mythologies.
His vivid palette and wild brushstrokes put the viewer right in the heart of the harsh Australian landscapes he portrays, most of which were painted from memory. The big names in early Australian colonial history are present too: Ned Kelly, Cannibal Pierce and the tragically misguided Burke and Wills.