Roland Wakelin


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Australian painter, born at Greytown, New Zealand. In 1912 he settled in Sydney, where he studied under Rubbo. Although his work was unexceptional by European standards, it was too advanced for local taste. When the Royal Art Society rejected Wakelin's Down the Hills to Berry's Bay (1916, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney) ‘Rubbo was furious; he challenged a committee member to a duel, with pistols, swords or fists; the picture was hastily hung’ (Robert Hughes, The Art of Australia, 1970). For a short period around 1919 Wakelin produced abstract paintings; apart from Roy de Maistre, he was the first Australian to do so.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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