Born in Melbourne (22/6/1897), Arnold Shore began his apprenticeship with the leading stained glass company, Brooks Robinson Studios, in 1911. In 1912 he enrolled at the National Gallery of Victoria School, where he was instructed by both Bernard Hall (1859-1935) and Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917). In 1914 William Frater (1890-1974) also joined Brooks Robinson Studios and commenced a long and important friendship with Shore, introducing Shore to Modernism.
From 1926 Shore exhibited, along with a small core of modernists, in the group shows of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, and in 1929 held his first one-man exhibition at the Athenaeum Galleries in Collins Street.
Somewhat surprisingly, ‘the strongest single influence in his conversion to modernism’, was the London magazine, Outline of Art, and in one of the last issues he was introduced to French Post-Impressionism.
The work of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was to remain Shore’s artistic touchstone for the rest of his career. Bush Garden, painted in 1962, the penultimate year of Shore’s life, perfectly demonstrates the longevity of van Gogh’s influence. The oil pigment is extravagantly applied so that the painting appears to be as much modeled as drawn. The thick, rich impasto builds up the imagery in almost sculptural low relief. The broad brushstrokes allow for little delicacy of detaill, only the foliage and flower heads of Iris Germanicus, another reference to Van Gogh, are clearly delineated.
Arnold Shore (1897-1963)
Bush Garden, 1962
Oil on composite board signed and dated lower left: Shore 1962
33 x 43 cm 70/16