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One always awaits with pleasure an exhibition .of work by Miss Jean Bel Ictte. She is one of the. few Australian artists here who
combines a firm technique
with a sensitive and rich emotion.
In some of the lighter land- scapes in this exhibition, Miss Bellctte seems to have been trying to solve some of the particular difficulties of paint- ing Australian landscapes.
The clear, strong light tends to flatten the form and bleach the colour; a problem that doesn't lend itself to the dramatic tensions and dark moods that are characteristic of her work. It requires a colder and more dispassion- ate approach.
But when she finds land- scapes to her taste, such as the rugged hills and beetling clouds in No. 8, the earth de- caying with erosion in No. 19, or the prickly desolation of "Rough Country," No. 14, she handles them with great skill and effectiveness.
Her figure drawings arc de- cisively drawn and firmly modelled. The girls have a pensive dignity as though they arc pondering the burdens and joylcssncss of a future to be spent as caryatids.
The still lives and the inter- ior are admirable exercises in formal organisation, the col- ours being sombre yet rich.
The exhibition opened at the Macquarie Galleries at noon yesterday.-G.G.