READ, Arthur Evan; North of Capricorn
In reviewing Arthur Evan Read's second exhibition at Brisbane's Johnstone Gallery in 1955, Dr Gertrude Langer, then art critic of Brisbane's The Courier-Mail, commented:
'Read's subjects are the canefields, the moist cloud laden skies, the monsoonal weather, the brooding sun and, last but not least, the quiet little townships of the north where life goes on at a leisurely pace. One can sense the painter's humility in front of the subject in trying not to impose his own mood but in grasping the mood of the place. The paintings ... are the result of selective observation and adjustment of significant elements. They are patiently built up pictures, their rich surface textures and glow from underneath deriving from several layers of varied colours.'
Read had direct experience of the tropics: he moved to Flying Fish Point, near Innisfail, in 1949 and lived there between 1950 and 1956, working variously as a cane cutter, house painter and store keeper before moving to Brisbane. North of Capricorn shares the qualities that Langer identified and was the winning entry in the 68th 'Queensland Centenary Eisteddfod, Brisbane', which was held at the Queensland Art Gallery in 1959.
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