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Jeffrey SMART

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 1921 – Italy 2013

  • Movements: United States of America and Europe 1948-50, Europe 1962-65, Italy from 1965

Waiting for the train 1969/70 Posticcia Nuova [property name], Pieve a Presciano, Tuscany, Arezzo province, Italy
paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Technique: synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Primary Insc: Signed bottom right "JEFFREY SMART"
59.0 h x 89.0 w cm
framed (overall) 802 h x 1102 w x 57 d mm
Gift of Alcoa World Alumina Australia 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.96


  • Smart has returned to the subject of waiting on a number of occasions. In Waiting for the train a comparison with Samuel Beckett�s Waiting for Godot is unmistakable and the timelessness of the moment of waiting becomes the subject of this work. In Playground at Piraeus the sharp realism of Smart�s work is played out against the uncertainty of the narrative. A man walks purposefully into the middle distance where a woman waits on a park bench. She turns to watch him but are they destined to meet? The transience of the moment is in contrast to the stability of the composition, which is such an important aspect of Smart�s works.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010