Dennis Adams oil on canvas, ‘Decks Awash’, mid-20th century


Dennis Adams (1941-2001)

‘Decks Awash’, oil on canvas laid onto board,

a dramatic scene of the rolling deck of a ship with wave breaching the side, a sailor in oilskins struggling to keep his footing.

Signed lower left,

artist’s address on back.


Good condition


Dennis Adams was born in Sydney in 1914, where at the docks he watched the few remaining sailing ships pass Sydney Heads for distant ports. His father was a retired seaman, and his head was full of his tales of life on board the ‘Last of the Windjammers’. He studied art at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, and in 1935 headed off to London to study at the Royal Academy of Arts on a sailing ship as a ‘seaman’. This voyage set the theme for his art: for the next 50 years, he painted dramatic scenes of the life of the sailor, not just the ships themselves. He was an official War artist during WWII, and his work in paint & in bronze sculpture is to be found in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, as well as numerous other state memorials and galleries around Australia.




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