Judy Cassab is one of Australia’s most accomplished portrait artists and equally recognised for a series of evocative and expressionist landscapes of Central Australia completed over the past fifty years.

Cassab was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied at the Academy of Art in Prague in 1938. However, her life was dramatically affected by the outbreak of war in Europe and she was held in labour camps in Poland and the Ukraine from 1941 to 1944. Reunited with her husband in 1944, Cassab immigrated with her family to Australia in 1951. She arrived in Sydney as an accomplished painter and held her first solo exhibition at the Macquarie Gallery in 1953, quickly establishing a reputation as one of Australia’s leading portraitists. Cassab travelled to Europe in 1958 and exhibited in London in 1959, gaining international prominence for paintings of celebrities and dignitaries such as Princess Alexandra. From 1959 she travelled to Central Australia, and responding to the colour and textures of the land, developed the first of a series of expressive paintings, revealing the primeval landscape of the Australian desert.

In 1988, Cassab was awarded the Order of Australia. She has work in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.


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