Exhibition | Albert Tucker and the Mystery of H. D. | Heide Museum of Modern Art

H. Dearing Approach to Princes Bridge c.1925 oil on canvas on cardboard 46 x 75 cm Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne Purchased from John and Sunday Reed 1980

H. Dearing, Approach to Princes Bridge, c.1925, oil on canvas on cardboard, 46 x 75 cm, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Purchased from John and Sunday Reed 1980

The exhibition Albert Tucker and the Mystery of H. D. is on at Heide Museum of Modern Art until 15th February 2015.

In 1944 Albert Tucker discovered two intriguing paintings in a bicycle shop in Swanston Street, Melbourne. Attracted by their naive artistry set about trying to identify the painter, the works were  unsigned. He was told that the pictures had belonged to Professor Alfred Henry Tipper, a travelling showman and trick cyclist who was depicted in the images, and who had died in April that year.

After being told that the paintings had belonged to Professor Alfred Henry Tipper, Tucker traced Tipper’s last place of residence, where he found a further three paintings in the showman’s old cart in the back yard. Although his attempts to learn more about the artist were unsuccessful, he convinced John Reed to publish an article on H. D. and images in Angry Penguins magazine. Tucker and his modernist peers admired the fresh, untutored approach of outsider artists, taking their cue from Picasso’s discovery and promotion of naïve painter Henri Rousseau nearly forty years earlier. He wrote, ‘These paintings bear the unmistakeable mark of the natural artist … the man who accepts his own vision of the world with a simple unquestioning faith and paints it because he wants to, the best of all reasons’.

In 1945 the Contemporary Art Society hung four of H. D.’s works in its annual exhibition, leading to the revelation by Herald art critic Clive Turnbull that the artist was in fact H. Dearing, made clear by a signed sixth work that had come to light. It is now known that H. Dearing was an amateur artist who painted country life around regional Victoria during the 1920s and 1930s.

This exhibition brings together four of the paintings that Tucker found in 1944, with 26 hitherto unexhibited works by Henry Dearing recently acquired by Heide Museum of Modern Art.

Heide Museum of Modern Art | 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen VIC 3105

Exhibition Dates: 13 September 2014 – 15 February 2015.

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm Exhibition entry is free with admission to the gallery (Adult $16/Senior $14/Concession $12/Child under 12 FREE) Member FREE http://www.heide.com.au/exhibitions/now-showing/exhibition/albert-tucker-and-the-mystery-of-h-d/edate/2014-09-13/eid/716