1 JOHN JOSEPH WARDELL POWER (1881-1943)
Abstract Accordionist c1928
gouache on paper
76.2 x 49.5 cm
signed lower left: POWER
signed with artist's monogram (encircled star) lower right
Collection of the artist
Frank O'Neill, United Kingdom c1930 (label attached on backing verso)
Thence by descent, private collection, United Kingdom
"art is the rhythmical expression (or statement) of feeling. Plastic art is the rhythmical expression of a plastic experience...No rhythm no art"
John Wardell Power, Notebook, c1940, Ms. 5761, Maunscripts, National Library of Australia
Following the example of other early 20th century Modernists like Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger, Wardell Power was also preoccupied with the idea of depicting a relationship between music and colour.
Despite collecting an already impressive catalogue of contemporary French art by the late 1920s, Wardell Power's own works displays a sense of irony and humour that is not necessarily characteristic of the works that hung in his own home.
As an Australian in Paris, Wardell Power treats us to an outsiders perspective on the avant-garde's high-brow fascination with popular culture, poking fun and enjoying it at the same time.
ADS Donaldson and Ann Stephen, J.W. Power: Abstraction-Creation Paris 1934, The University of Sydney, 2012, page