Sketches, 1 sheet, based on Aboriginal rock/cave paintings of Arnhem Land, ink/ pencil/paper, James Cant, Australia, 1946-1950
James Cant 1911-1982
Biography by Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator 1997
Studied Sydney Grammar School, the studio of Datillo Rubbo, East Sydney Technical College, Julian Ashton's Art school.
1933: Designed decors for 'Coppellia' and 'Faust'.
1934: Travelled to Paris and London, studied Central School of Arts and Crafts, Southampton Row, London.
1935: Exhibited in group show Mayer Gallery, London. Became member of British Surrealist Group. To Paris, Spain (painting for 6 months) and London.
1936: One of ten artists chosen by Kenneth Clark, Herbert Read and others for subsidy - other artists selected included Francis Bacon, Roy de Meistre, John Piper etc).
1939: Joined Artists International Association exhibiting in group show with Piet Mondrian, Oscar Kokoschka etc. Travelled to France met Georges Braque and Joan Miro. At the outbreak of the War returned to Sydney.
1940: One man show at Macquarie Galleries
1941: Joined Australian Army as camouflage officer.
1944: Discharged on medical grounds, later identified as multiple sclerosis.
1945: Met wife-to-be South Australian painter, Dora Chapman and through her, met the South Australian anthropologist, Charles Mountford. Became interested in Aboriginal art which was to influence many of his designs. Initiated, with others, the Society of Realist Art.
1947: Designed fabrics for Silk and Textile Printers Limited - 'Land' a textile design clearly inspired by the work of Joan Miro was produced and later used in the first-class cafe on the Orient liner 'Orcades' (maiden voyage in 1949).
1949: Worked with Mountford on 'reconstructions' of cave paintings Mountford had photographed at Oenpelli.
1950: Travelled to London where these 'reconstructions' were exhibited at the Berkeley Galleries. Exhibition later travelled throughout Europe (works lost).
1955-1956: Collaborated with Malcolm Otton and Roland Robinson on the making of the film 'Wirritt-Wirritt'.
Ron Radford, 'James Cant 1911-1982 Retrospective' AGSA
Jean Campbell, 'James Cant and Dora Chapman', Beagle Press
James Cant, based on photographs of Australian Aboriginal rock and cave paintings of central and/or Northern Australia.
Cant exhibited similar reproductions of Australian Aboriginal paintings in London in 1950.
Sketches/designs only. Appear to be working drawings towards a design concept because of their enclosure/containment in circular motif. Related to paintings displayed at the 'Australian Aboriginal Art' exhibition, Berkeley Galleries, London 1950, paintings by James Cant.
In artist's and family possession until transferred to vendor, Mr Malcolm Otton, long time friend of James Cant and Dora Chapman.