Australian art arrivals 1832–2007

In 2004, Sydney painter Noel McKenna created the crossword painting Australian art history 1933–1978.


To coincide with Refugee Week, we’re challenging you to complete McKenna’s crossword with some new clues – all related to artists who have immigrated to Australia and enriched cultural life here.

McKenna reflects, ‘When I did this crossword the internet was not quite as powerful in getting answers. People, not all, simply google answers. But I suppose they still learn things they may not have known before’.

Take the challenge and have a go without Google! Thanks to Noel McKenna for his support.


2. Collector. Born Poland 1918. Immigrated to Australia 1933. Became a major art collector who bequeathed a large part of his collection to the National Gallery of Victoria. Last name only (5)

6. Artist. Born France 1853. Immigrated to Australia c1879. Worked as a scene painter for the Paris Opera and in later life for Hollywood. His painting of the interior of the original Art Gallery of New South Wales is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. First name only (6)

7. Artist and critic. Born Germany 1914. Immigrated to Australia 1929. Became art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald. Last name only (9)

9. Artist. Born Wales 1920. Immigrated to Australia 1923. At age 14 designed his own racing bicycle and had it made. Worked as an engineer until retirement. Last name only (6)

10. Artist. Born Estonia 1914. Immigrated to Australia 1949. Part of a group called Six Directions, who held their first exhibition in 1957 at the Bissietta Gallery, Sydney. Last name only (5)

12. Israeli-born Asher Bilu is considered one of the pioneers of _______ art in Australia. (7)

14. Artist and arts administrator. Born West Indies 1820. Immigrated to Australia 1843. Founding trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, appointed the Gallery’s first director in 1892. Middle name only (4)

15. Artist. Born England 1912. Immigrated to Australia 1923. In 1941, this artist’s painting Monday morning was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Last name only (8)

16. In 1974 this New Zealand-born artist held her first solo exhibition, at the age of 57, at the Macquarie Galleries in Sydney. Last name only (9)

18. The important 1965 exhibition Young Australian painters was held in this country. (5)

19. Artist. Born Lebanon 1965. Migrated to Australia with his family following the outbreak of civil war. Began his creative life as a hip-hop performer. Last name only (7)

21. Artist. Born Scotland 1953. Has employed the theme Fully exploited labour to examine the changing nature of work. (3,6)

23. This international celebrity artist first exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2000, as part of the Sydney Biennale. Last name only (3)

24. Artist. Born New Zealand 1882. Won the Wynne Prize in 1919 for Springfrost. (6,6)

28. Artist. Born Pakistan 1973. Immigrated to Australia 2001. Originally trained in the art of Mughal miniature paintings, now adapting this tradition to explore the politics of representation in art history. First name only (5)

31. Ukrainian city where this artist of Latvian descent was born in 1918. Immigrated to Australia in 1950. The Art Gallery of New South Wales has a portrait of Winston Churchill’s gardener by this artist. (7)

33. Artist. Born Lithuania 1943. Immigrated to Australia 1949. This artist’s love for Australian flora and fauna is evident in the many children’s book she illustrated. (5,6)

35. Artist. Born Vienna 1909. Raised the profile of printmaking in Australia through her work and teaching. Particularly associated with the Workshop Arts Centre in Sydney. Last name only (5)

36. Artist. Born Italy 1972. Immigrated to Australia 1976. Her biographical performative work Story of a girl was staged at Artspace in 1999. Last name only (9)

37. Artist Rosaleen Norton was born in New Zealand 1917 and immigrated to Australia in 1925. On account of her occult paintings and bohemian way of life, she was often known as the ‘_____’ of Kings Cross. (5)

39. Artist. Born Poland 1936. Immigrated to Australia 1971. The only female artist in the seminal 1973 exhibition Recent Australian art. (3,8)

41.. Artist. Born China 1960. Immigrated to Australia 1989. Best known for his porcelain busts overpainted with landscapes and other features drawn from Chinese art. Surname then first name (4,2)

42. Artist. Born London 1804. Immigrated to Australia 1841. Painted mainly miniatures and wildflowers. Created the famous diary Georgiana’s journal. Last name only (6)

44. Artist. Born England 1954. Influenced by Fluxus and particularly by EvaHesse, this artist works across sculpture, sculptural performance and installation. Last name only (3)

45. Artist. Born England 1760. Although she never visited Australia, her drawings of Australian fauna are among the earliest. She created numerous watercolour paintings of specimens sent by the first colonial Surgeon-General, John White. First name only (5)

46. Artist. Born England 1813. Transported to Australia as a convict 1832. Worked largely as a portrait painter in Sydney and regional New South Wales. Surname then first initial (7,1)


1. Artist. Born Poland 1922. Immigrated to Australia 1949. Earned a significantreputation for his work in laser image and sound technology. Last part of hyphenated surname (9)

2. Artist. Born England 1940. Immigrated to Australia 1958. Included in the landmark 1968 exhibition The field (National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of New South Wales). Last name only (5)

Artist. Born England 1935. Immigrated to Australia 1950. Awarded a gold medal at the São Paulo Biennale in 1971. Last name only (6)

Artist. Born Cyprus 1946. Immigrated to Australia 1950. His work has investigated the concept that the body is obsolete. In 2007 had a cellcultivated ear surgically attached to his left arm. Last name only (7)

5. Artist. Born New Zealand 1970. Has been described as a contemporary social realist. Won the Blake Prize in 2014. (7,5)

8. Artist. Born Scotland 1851. Immigrated to Australia 1872. He claimed that the Australian landscape had ‘a new sensation to offer, a new beauty to explain’. Last name only (8)

11. Artist. Born Egypt 1921. First came to Australia with the Royal Air Force in 1942. Spent most of his working life as deputy director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, painting in his spare time, but now recognised as Australia’s most important abstract expressionist painter. Surname then first name (7,7)

Artist. Born Switzerland 1898. Immigrated to Australia 1937. Changed his surname from Yakubowitsch during military service in the Swiss Army. Won the Wynne Prize four times. (4,6)

17. Sculptor. Born England 1918. Immigrated to Australia 1947. Foundation member of the Centre Five group in Melbourne. Last name only (4)

20. Artist Yosl Bergner was born in Austria in 1920 and immigrated to Australia 1938. He studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne and emigrated to what country in 1948. (6)

21. Artist. Born England 1943. Immigrated to Australia 1952. A potter who became interested in reduced-lustre ceramics after meeting the Egyptian artist Said-el-Sadr. Was also an influential teacher of ceramics. Surname then first name (7,4)

22. Artist. Born Iran 1983. Immigrated to Australia 2007. Largely works with photography and the moving image to explore the representation of gender, marginality and displacement. (4,6)

24. Artist and writer. Born Germany 1893. Immigrated to Australia 1930. In. 1939 was instrumental in putting together Exhibition 1, a landmark group show of semi-abstract paintings and sculpture in Sydney. First name only (8)

25. Artist. Born India. She won the 2010 Archibald Prize Packing Room Prize. Last name only (5)

26. Artist. Born England 1977. Immigrated to Australia when young. He won the Archibald People’s Choice award four times. First name only (7)

27. Artist and designer. Born Latvia 1914. Immigrated to Australia 1951. Became well known as a fashion designer in Melbourne. Studied art with George Bell; a member of the Blue Brush Group. First name only (4)

29. Artist. Born Scotland c1819. Immigrated to Australia 1869. A founding member of the Victorian Artists’ Society and the NSW Academy of Art. The Art Gallery of New South Wales recently acquired his Creek scene, Tilba Tilba. Last name only (5)

30. Artist. Born Paris 1928. Narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz. Immigrated to Australia 1951. Dazzled 1950s Melbourne with her glamorous theatricality. (5,4)

Artist. Born England 1906. Immigrated to Australia 1920. Studied at the National Gallery School and with George Bell in Melbourne. A founder of the Contemporary Art Society and Melbourne Contemporary Artists. Last name only (7)

34. Artist. Born Hong Kong 1956. Immigrated to Australia 1967. As well as a long painting career, this artist helped establish the Asian Australian Artists’ Association (Gallery 4A), Sydney, in 1995. (4,5)

38. Artist. Born Wales 1903. Immigrated to Australia 1921. At 14 the youngest person ever admitted to the South Wales Art Society. In Australia became famous as an illustrator of children’s books. First initial then surname (1,7)

40. Artist. Born England 1945. Immigrated to Australia 1965. Known for large textural paintings. Won the Wynne Prize in 1994. Last name only (6)

43. Art collector and dealer. Born Vienna 1908. Immigrated to Australia 1950. Known for his twin passions for art and wine, this person opened an influential gallery in Sydney in 1959. (4,5)

Stay-tuned to find out the answers soon!