Storm, Wangi
Sir William Dobell
oil on board
18.3cm x 30.0cm

Purchased with assistance from the John and Valerie Ryan Art Trust and the Les Renfrew Bequest 2015. Newcastle Art Gallery collection

Storm, Wangi is a work from 1952 – a turbulent period in Dobell’s career following the fallout of the 1943 Archibald Prize. In 1948 Dobell had moved to Wangi to distance himself from the scandal that surrounded the court case surrounding the prize and from 1948-53 undertook a small series of moody and highly allegorical landscapes approximately 20 x 30cm in size.

These lesser-known series of works by the artist reflect the emotional undercurrents and emotional aftermath of the preceding years. Writer Scott Bevan tells that Storm over Wangi (also in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection) and its companion painting Storm Approaching Wangi (Winner of the 1948 Wynne Prize) were highly allegorical paintings not only of Dobell’s home, but of the aftermath of the 1943 events.

The painting represents a significant period in Dobell’s career where he was focusing on the natural environment of Wangi and Lake Macquarie and his palette markedly changed to incorporate high keyed blue, purples and aquamarine. This experimentation with such discordant palette ranges continued into the New Guinea period of works into the mid- late 1960s.

His subsequent retreat to Wangi and reaction of highly emotive and gestural paintings of the 1948-52 periods are rare in circulation and have direct regional connection to the Newcastle Art Gallery collection.

Source : Newcastle Art Gallery