Grace Crowley & Ralph Balson

(Linear rhythm) was discovered on the verso of Ralph Balson’s Constructive painting, 1946.

Grace Crowley noted that she completed her first purely abstract paintings following Exhibition 1. However, besides Abstract with gold and silver ribbons and its partner work held in the AGNSW artist archive, this is the only other surviving abstract work by Crowley from the early 1940s. It is well acknowledged that Crowley destroyed many of her own works or gave them to Balson to repurpose. In 1944, Crowley exhibited a series of works titled Linear in a group show at Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, and it is likely this painting is from the same period.


Ralph Balson
England 1890 – Australia 1964, Australia from 1913

Constructive painting
1946 Warrane/Sydney
oil on cardboard


Grace Crowley
Australia 1890–1979, France 1926–29

(Linear rhythm)
c. 1943 Warrane/Sydney
oil on cardboard

Andrew Collection, Melbourne

Due to the orientation of the Ralph Balson painting, the Grace Crowley painting is on display upside down. Here is an image of the work illustrated in the correct orientation.