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George Bell

In their own words

Recorded 1965

George Bell
Audio: 2 minutes

In about 1925 I began to be dissatisfied with the painting or the approach to art that I had, and I thought of giving it up because as far as I could see we were just being colour photographers. But then I thought I haven’t come to the end of art, have a look at this modern art that I hated so much. I’d seen both exhibitions in London of the French school of modern art brought to London by Roger Fry, and it rather frightened me. I thought if one of my pictures was hung between two of theirs it’d be wiped right out. But still I didn’t like the pictures at all until I began to think about them in 1925. I thought, well, inquire into this new art. It’s either that or give up. So, I began to inquire and I found it quite interesting, and from then I got a new start. And in my school, I began to teach a new approach to painting, and then, when I went to Melbourne and opened a school there with a partner, Arnold Shore, we taught from 1931 until 1939, I think. And that was when I did most of the teaching that did any good.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of George Bell is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

Related people

George Bell OBE

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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