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Not Quite Straight: A Memoir

Jeffrey Smart
Random House Australia
1996
ISBN: 0855617128
Pages:
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket
Quantity in stock: 1

Condition: FINE

Price: $26.00 (inc GST)

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Australian Art Biography, Australian artist Jeffrey Smart's wicked and utterly engaging memoir.

Born in respectable (read: dull) Adelaide in 1921, Jeffrey Smart made his first Grand Tour of Europe at age 4. By 5 he had discovered Sex (with a female classmate) and Crime. By 18 he’d decided he was the only person in Australia who was ‘not quite straight’.

The subsequent decades brought further enlightenment, more travel, study with Fernand Leger, artistic development, adventures high and low, international acclaim, friends famous and infamous and - fittingly for someone who refers to himself as ‘a European who carries an Australian passport’ - a permanent return to the ancient, sun-soaked landscape of Tuscany.

This is Jeffrey Smart's account of that very full life. He writes with a wicked wit of his family, friends and lovers, and of his jobs, including being the much-loved Phidias in ABC Radio’s ‘The Argonauts’ and the more lowly position of sink-scrubber on a slow boat to London, before finding fame as an artist. Throughout he is candid, funny and engaging.

Like Smart’s paintings, Not Quite Straight offers a singular perspective shaped by a unique life. pp. 464 illusts First Edition LGBTQ #0120

Jeffrey Smart was an Australian painter known for his detailed paintings of urban landscapes. Employing the style of Precisionism, a movement started in the 1920s by American artists such as Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Stuart Davis, Smart’s work maintains a consistent level of smoothness and uncanny sense of reality. Though he often depicted specific subject matter with a carefully observed level of detail, his goal was not Realism but rather the detailed transcriptions of forms. Smart adopted this aesthetic in part because of interest in the work of Edward Hopper and Pierro della Francesca, creating an eerily surreal quality in his paintings of industrial spaces and urban places. Born on July 26, 1921 in Adelaide, Australia, Smart went on to study at the La Grand Chaumière in Paris, later studying under Fernand Léger at the Académie Montmarte. Today, his works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among others. Smart on died June 20, 2013 in Montevarchi, Italy.

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