Master of Stillness is a collection of artworks by Jeffrey Smart, which has been accumulated by Art Curator, Barry Pearce.
The book displays all of the works created by Smart in the course of his career, showcasing how his work evolved and developed. This is further reiterated by Pearce who documents the artist’s life story, from how he was inspired by the South Australian landscape, to his travels in Italy. The differences between the Australian landscapes in comparison to the Italian ones are notable, and yet there is no objection to the fact tht Smart had a signature style. Not only does the book present famous landscapes and cityscapes from the Adelaide-born artist, but also personal sketches and studies which show the artist’s thought process and the evolution of his style.
Like many art books, this one is big, bold, and extremely trendy. It was fascinating to read Pearce’s perspective on Smart’s artworks. In particular, his analysis and dissection of the artists relationships with architecture – especially how Smart illuminated shapes and lines that aren’t noticed by the untrained eye.
Pearce also dives in to the immersion and collaborative way that Smart created a dystopian vibe within mundane city streets.
The book is the definition of aesthetically pleasing, and an asset to any household. It is a rich and intriguing insight into the life of South Australia’s most celebrated artists and is definitely worth the read for any lovers of art or our beautiful country.
Reviewed by Phoebe Christofi
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Wakefield Press
Released: July 2018
RRP: $75.00 hardcover