Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns: Émigrés, mavericks and progressives

Carrick-Hill-Wladyslaw-Dutkiewicz-Calligraphy-c.1952Carrick Hill is delighted to present Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns: Émigrés, mavericks and progressives, an exceptional exhibition showcasing over 30 artworks by 25 Australian artists. Curated by Dr Margot Osborne, the exhibition will open its doors at Carrick Hill on Wednesday 2 August 2023.

The exhibition will be the first survey of Adelaide modernism during the 1950s and 1960s, encompassing the influx of European émigré artists who arrived in Adelaide in the fifties, the vibrant era of mid-century modernism, and the emergence of Pop and post-painterly abstraction in the late sixties.

“We are delighted to bring together this remarkable collection of artworks, celebrating the dynamic and innovative spirit of the mid-century modern movement,” says Carrick Hill Director, Susan McCormack.

“During this transformative era, Adelaide’s art scene experienced significant flux, welcoming artists with diverse backgrounds and fresh artistic approaches. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Dr Margot Osborne in creating this extraordinary experience at Carrick Hill.”

The 1950s and 1960s witnessed considerable flux in Adelaide’s fledgling contemporary art scene, with a stream of arrivals and departures. Artists came from overseas and interstate, bringing with them cosmopolitan experiences, advanced tertiary art training, and fresh approaches to making art.

Among the post-war arrivals were Poland’s Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz, Ludwik Dutkiewicz and Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski, who faced opposition from Adelaide’s conservative Anglophile establishment but found support from art critic Ivor Francis and publisher Max Harris. They quickly integrated into the artistic community, fostering collaborations between visual arts, architecture, theatre, film, and literature.

From 1958 to 1960 Adelaide was energised by the appointment to the South Australian School of Art of British-born head of school Paul Beadle along with German-trained printmakers Udo Sellbach and Karin Schepers and American artist Charles Reddington. Under their influence, a new generation of South Australian artists emerged including Barbara Hanrahan, Syd Ball, and Robert Boynes.

Artists represented within Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns: Émigrés, mavericks and progressives are John Baily, Syd Ball, Charles Bannon, Robert Boynes, Geoff Brown, James Cant, Ian Chandler, Dora Chapman, Lynn Collins, David Dallwitz, John Dallwitz, Lawrence Daws, Ludwik Dutkiwicz, Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz, Barrie Goddard, Barbara Hanrahan, Jacqueline Hick, Franz Kempf, Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski, Charles Reddington, William Salmon, Udo Sellbach, Brian Seidel, Francis Roy Thompson and Geoff Wilson.

Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns has been made possible as a result of the generous loan by AGSA of paintings, works on paper and archival material from its collection, including many rarely seen works. These are supplemented by loans from private collections.

The exhibition draws on Dr Margot Osborne’s forthcoming landmark book, The Adelaide Art Scene: Becoming contemporary 1939-2000. This first history of the trials and triumphs of modern and contemporary art in Adelaide is published by Wakefield Press in partnership with Guildhouse and Carrick Hill, with financial support from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, through Arts South Australia.

Adelaide Mid-Century Moderns: Émigrés, mavericks and progressives
Carrick Hill Wall Gallery, 46 Carrick Hill Drive, Springfield (Adelaide)
Exhibition: 2 August – 15 October 2023
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz, Stara Sol, Poland 1918; d. Adelaide 1999, Calligraphy, c.1952, Adelaide, oil on canvas, 68 x 87 cm, Gift of the Dutkiewicz family, 2000, Art Gallery of South Australia – © courtesy estate of the artist