GRISAILLE: Shades of grey from the collection

William Delafield COOK, <i>Two chairs</i> 1972, conte crayon and ink on paper, 106.1 x 131.2cm, Newcastle Art Gallery collection, Courtesy the artist's estate
3 February - 2 April 2018
10am to 5pm Tue to Sun, 7 days during school holidays
Free exhibition

GRISAILLE: Shades of grey from the collection is drawn exclusively from Newcastle Art Gallery’s holdings.

The French word ‘Grisaille’ is a term in art theory for the practice of using a colour palette restricted to grey. Grey is an intermediate colour, neither black nor white, and is often associated with a sense of tedium or lifelessness. However it is also a colour that can be neutral, elegant and calm - discordant qualities which are intriguing.
Artists have long used the wide range of tonal variations available in the colour grey to explore shape, contrast and weight. Restricting the colour palette focuses the eye on structure, technique and subject matter. This is evident in Pablo Picasso’s powerful anti war painting Guernica 1937 painted in a palette of grey, black and white. The starting point for this exhibition came from the recent rediscovery of a relatively unknown painting in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection by Warren Knight (1941-2003) Do-to-kal 1969. Knight arrived in Australia in 1967 and was included in an exhibition of contemporary Australian art by the Swiss curator Harald Szeemann (1933-2005) who was brought to Australia by John Kaldor in 1971. Project 2 was held in Sydney’s Bonython Gallery and in Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria in 1971.

Included will be a diverse range of artists, such as: John Brack, William Delafield Cook, Noel Counihan, James Gleeson, Frank Hinder, Max Linegar, Bea Maddock, Brett McMahon, Claire Martin, Nigel Milsom, Mike Parr and Fred Williams.

Max LINEGAR Seascape (detail) 2003 pastel, chalk on gesso ground on paper 84.0 x 194.0cm Purchased 2004 Newcastle Art Gallery collection Courtesy the artist


  • Exhibition entry is FREE



Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill