Yuill/Crowley Gallery and the Power Institute present a lecture by David Pestorius, art historian, curator and the director of Australian Fine Arts in Brisbane.



In 2012, the University Art Gallery at the University of Sydney restaged J.W. Power’s 1934 exhibition at the Paris showroom of the Abstraction-Création group, with the accompanying catalogue adding much to our knowledge of the Sydney artist. One of the subjects touched upon there was Power’s friendship with Otto Freundlich, the German constructivist who the Nazis singled out in their pre-war offensive against modern art, reproducing his work on the cover of the guide for their infamous ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition.

Focusing on Power’s links to Freundlich, this lecture is the outcome of recent archival research in France and The Netherlands and paints a vivid picture of the artist and his place in the Parisian art world of the 1930s. Of the revelations, perhaps the most remarkable concerns Power’s role in the anti-fascist cultural resistance during the dark days leading up to the Second World War. It demonstrates that this man of wealth and privilege was not only committed to preserving the freedom of art, but also to social equality and egalitarianism, something that enables us to better appreciate what motivated his great bequest to the University of Sydney.

David Pestorius’ lecture is being hosted by the Yuill/Crowley gallery and held in co-operation with the Power Institute at the University of Sydney. The lecture is being presented in an installation conceived for the occasion by the Viennese artist Heimo Zobernig and will be introduced by Professor Mark Ledbury, Director of the Power Institute.



David Pestorius is an art historian, curator and the director of Australian Fine Arts in Brisbane. In the 1970s, he was taught photography by Fr Paul Gardiner SJ at St Ignatius College, Riverview, and soon after began to document Brisbane’s post-punk culture. In 2004, he was awarded the Power Institute Studio in Paris and it was there that he and Heimo Zobernig first shined a light on the activities of J.W. Power.



6pm, Tuesday 9 April 2019

Yuill/Crowley gallery

57-59 Macleay Street

Potts Point

NSW 2011


Attendance at this event is free, however, seating is limited and persons wishing to attend should contact the gallery well in advance: yuill_crowley@bigpond.com