Abstraction–Création: J.W. Power in Europe 1921–1938

JW Power

Abstraction-Creation featuring the work of J.W. Power, one of Australia’s most successful and accomplished expatriate painters of the inter-war years will go on show at the National Library of Australia in Canberra from 25 July 2014.

Developed by University of Sydney with the National Library, this exhibition for the first time brings together Power’s paintings from the University with his sketchbooks and part of his collection held by the National Library of Australia.

Despite his career as an avant-garde artist who participated in numerous exhibitions in London, Paris and Amsterdam between 1921 and 1938 his life is little known in this country, other than as a visionary benefactor to the University of Sydney.

Born in Sydney in 1881 and trained as a Doctor, Power moved to further his studied in London and Vienna before serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Great War. Power abandoned medicine to study art in Paris, initially with the Brazilian Pedro Araújo and then with Fernand Léger in his Académie Moderne.

Power became part of the international group of artists including August Herbin, Otto Freundlich and exhibited with Léonce Rosenberg’s gallery l’Effort Moderne and Galerie Jeanne Bucher and the group Abstraction-Création. Following his death in 1943 and that of his wife Edith in 1962 his work was returned to Australia.

On Tour

  • National Library of Australia 25 July – 27 October
    Open Daily - Free exhibiton


If you would like more information about the exhibition tour contact the University Art Gallery
via email
or call 9351 6883