Exhibitions

2000-2010
 

The late landscape paintings of Horace Trenerry

WORKS

 

Exhibition | Artist | Works

 

Flinders Ranges

In response to Heysen’s visit to the Flinders Ranges in northern South Australia in 1926, Trenerry organised his own expedition in 1930. It was a revelatory experience which opened up the breadth of his painting with a new sense of scale, earthy palette and clarity of light. Two of these three Flinders Ranges subjects are evidence of Trenerry's passage through the town of Hawker en route north towards Wilpena Pound. Many of the works he produced during this trip were on small wooden panels.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges

Hawker, Flinders Ranges 1930
oil on plywood, 39 x 47cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Purchased 1996

The homestead, lower Flinders, SA

The homestead, lower Flinders, SA c1933
oil on canvas, 34.5 x 39.5cm
Private collection

Evening light, Flinders Ranges, SA

Evening light, Flinders Ranges, SA 1930
oil on board, 40 x 40.7cm
Private collection

Port Willunga

In December 1932, Trenerry joined a group invited to a Christmas party at Port Willunga at Kathleen Sauerbier’s house. She was a painter who had discovered this area on the south coast as a fertile source for painting. He abandoned the Adelaide Hills about a year later and based himself at Port Willunga, remaining in the area for the rest of his painting life. Sales were reasonable during the 1930s, including a painting purchased by the Art Gallery of South Australia – his first to enter a public collection – but it was still the Great Depression, and he found financial survival difficult. He rented the two-storey farm that appears in one of these paintings; a recurring motif. The four paintings here (1937–40) and on the title wall show the rapid evolution of a new, more vigorous method of handling and larger scale.

Seascape

Seascape c1937
oil on canvas, 54 x 59.4cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Purchased with assistance from the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 1992

Landscape, Port Willunga

Landscape, Port Willunga c1937
oil on canvas, 56 x 50cm
Private collection

Port Willunga landscape

Port Willunga landscape c1939
oil on canvas on strawboard, 65.8 x 80cm
Art Gallery of South Australia
Bequest of Charles Jury 1958

Winter landscape

Winter landscape 1940
oil on canvas on composition board, 58 x 63.5cm
Art Gallery of South Australia
Elder Bequest Fund 1940

Sydney Harbour

These three small paintings (one on a cigar box lid) were produced during Trenerry’s stay in Sydney in 1922–23. Here he studied at the Julian Ashton School and met Elioth Gruner, with whom he formed a strong friendship. Gruner’s admiration for Hans Heysen, with whom he exchanged mutually encouraging correspondence, would have inspired Trenerry to connect with the master of Hahndorf later after his return to South Australia.

Goat Island

Goat Island c1922–23
oil on canvas on board, 23.7 x 28.2cm
Private collection

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour 1922
oil on canvas on board, 16 x 22.5cm
Private collection

Boat on the Hawkesbury

Boat on the Hawkesbury c1922–23
oil on canvas on board, 18.5 x 25cm
Private collection

Adelaide Hills

Following his return to South Australia from Sydney in 1923, Trenerry settled in or near the village of Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. In 1927 Hans Heysen visited him in his studio there and invited him to go sketching. Heysen had been to the Flinders Ranges in the north of the state the previous year and produced a powerful series of landscapes adding to the classic Hahndorf imagery that had established his fame. Trenerry began to be strongly influenced by him in his own response to the Adelaide Hills, as can be seen in the three works here.

Piccadilly Valley colour note

Piccadilly Valley colour note c1932
oil on cigar box lid, 12 x 22cm
Private collection

Woodside

Woodside c1933
oil on canvas on board, 35.5 x 24cm
Private collection

Landscape with hill and cattle

Landscape with hill and cattle (The Hill Farm) 1927
oil on canvas on board, 26 x 29cm
Private collection

The last landscapes

The final five paintings on this and the last wall (1944–47) embrace Trenerry’s astonishing leap into a far looser generalisation and almost complete suppression of detail. In a newspaper interview in 1927, Trenerry had declared how much he was indebted to music as a source of inspiration, ‘... nearly as much as to nature itself’, and it is almost as though in these last grand paintings he had found a symphonic equivalent to his visual immersion in the landscape and its synthesis into paint.

Willunga landscape

Willunga landscape c1947
oil on hardboard, 84 x 109cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Purchased 1986

Aldinga pines

Aldinga pines c1945
oil on board, 74.5 x 90cm
Private collection
 

Winter landscape, late afternoon light

Winter landscape, late afternoon light c1945
oil on canvas, 66 x 75cm
Art Gallery of South Australia
Bequest of Miss GA Hardy 1974

Pines, Port Willunga

Pines, Port Willunga c1944
oil on canvas on board, 59 x 64.5cm
Private collection

Port Willunga

Port Willunga c1944
oil on canvas on board, 63.8 x 56.2cm
Private collection

Morning mists

Morning mists c1945–47
oil on canvas on cardboard, 65.8 x 60cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Edward Stinson Bequest Fund 2001

All images © Estate of Horace Trenerry