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James Cant

James Cant (1911-1982) was born in Melbourne, Australia. He later studied at several Sydney art schools. In 1934, Cant moved to London and was initially influenced by Cubism and Surrealism, and when he travelled in France and Spain he met many of the artists who had influenced him, including Braque, Picasso, Magritte and Mirò. In 1936, he  became a member of the Surrealist Group, and made a series of sculptures and assemblages using found materials which were exhibited in London and reproduced in The Surrealist Bulletin. He exhibited with the Surrealists at the Mayor Gallery in 1935 after being introduced to the gallery's director by the expatriate Australian artist Roy de Maistre. Cant returned to Sydney late in 1939, and gradually became more attuned to the works of social realist artists such as Diego Rivera. In 1945, together with his future wife Dora Chapman, he was one of the artists who formed the 'Studio of Realist Art'. He returned to England in 1949 and exhibited regularly in London until his return to Australia in 1955. The Cants settled in Adelaide, and after his death in 1982, the Art Gallery of South Australia held a retrospective exhibition of his works (1984) and a joint exhibition of his work with that of Dora Chapman (1995). His works are represented in the National Gallery of Australia and all the mainland Australian State galleries.

Drawings & works on paper   


Objects in a Landscape - Details

Objects in a Landscape 1936
48 x 38 inches
Oil on canvas

Acquired by The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.