HORACE BRODZKY (1885 – 1969)
Oil Painting on Canvas over Board. Signed & dated ’37 (1937)
Also signed on reverse and titled and dated on reverse
Horace Brodzky was born in Kew, Victoria in 1885, the son of Australian journalist Maurice Brodzky. In 1901 he studied at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia although he spent most of his creative life in London where he moved to in 1908. From 1905 to 1907 he travelled to San Francisco and New York and whilst there he enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York. In 1911 he began studying at the City and Guilds Art School in Kensington where he formed a close association with David Bomberg, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein and Mark Gertler. During this time he also travelled to Rome, Naples and Sicily with his friend the poet John Gould Fletcher, where he was influenced by the work of Piero della Francesca. In 1915 he returned to New York where he worked in art journalism and theatre designs. He also continued his painting and printmaking. He was one of the earliest Australian artists to embrace the modern style of the 20th century. In 1912 Brodzky was the first Australian to exhibit at the Venice Biennale with his painting “Girgenti – The Pine Tree”. He was the fourth recorded artists to experiment with lino-cutting and the first to seriously involve himself in this medium. In 1920 a portfolio of his lino-cuts was published by Egmont Arens and in 1929, having returned to London in 1923, his work was included in an exhibition of linocuts curated by Claude Flight at the Redfern Gallery. He exhibited widely in Australia and overseas including many group and solo shows in London. Other exhibitions include his first solo exhibition “Paintings and Sketches of Italian & Sicilian Scenes” held in his own studio in Chelsea (1911); A mixed exhibition of international contemporary masters in New York with Davies, Gaudier-Brzeska, Laurencia, Picasso, Prendergast, Pascin and Vlaminck (1917); A combined exhibition “Horace Brodzky, Hyam Myer, Jan Juta and Frank Potter” (1924); London Group Retrospective (1928); “First Exhibition of British Lino-cuts” (1929); Combined exhibition with David Bonberg, Margarete Hamerschlag and Horace Brodzky” (1937); Retrospective exhibitions in London at Ben Uri Gallery, Oxford Union Cellars, Mercury Gallery and Macy’s Gallery, New York (1965-67); “The Café Royalists” at Michael Parkin Gallery London and at the Café Royal (1972); Retrospective exhibitions in London at the Fieldborne Gallery, Michael Parkin Gallery and Belgrave Gallery (1973-77); “Jewish Artists of Great Britain (1845-1945)” at Belgrave Gallery, London and Cartwright Hall Art Gallery and Museum Bradford (1978). In 1933 his biography of Gaudier-Brzeska was published and in 1948 he became Art Editor of the Antique Dealer and Collectors Guide. He was a member of the London Group and was the friend of such well known artists as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jules Pascin, Jacob Epstein and David Bomberg. His graphics were used to illustrate the literary works of Ezra Pound, Eugene O’Neill, Upton Sinclair and Theodore Dreisler. Work by Brodzky is in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Most Australian state and many regional gallery and university collections; British Museum, London; Arts Council of Great Britain, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Numerous regional and university collections throughout Great Britain; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Honolulu Academy of Arts, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York and New York Public Library.