Old Melb

Two Houses, 1940Image courtesy of Charles Nodrum Gallery

An early work by Vic O'Connor

The Melbourne Realists

The social realist art movement in Melbourne, Australia which grew up during the war years of the 1940s, involved a wide group of painters, printmakers, illustrators and sculptors who were radical both in their art and in their politics. They exhibited in the early Contemporary Art Society shows, and the Anti-Fascist and Australia at War exhibitions during the early 1940s. Vic O’Connor, with friends and fellow artists Noel Counihan and Yosl Bergner first exhibited under the title 'Three Realist Artists' in 1946.  Artists who were part of the Melbourne social realist movement included Vic’s first wife, Ailsa O’Connor, Ken Scarlett, George Luke, James Wigley, Peter Miller, David Armfield and Mary Hammond, among others. While fashions in the art world changed, these artists continued to hold to their beliefs that art was not separate from politics and their work reflected the society in which they lived.

At present this website introduces the work of Vic O'Connor, Ailsa O'Connor, Ken Scarlett and George Luke.

If you can contribute further material on the Melbourne Realists please go to About and Contact.