Catalogue Foreword by Edmund Capon
Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Born in Vienna of Hungarian parents Judy Cassab arrived in Sydney in October 1951 with an already established reputation as a painter and with, in her own words, 'painting rolling from the brush'.

She brought to this country of raw beauty and endless opportunity the images and sensibilities of a European aesthetic. What a vast change of scenery it must have been for her, not just in distance and history, but in terms of sensibilities, values and aspirations. Not daunted by this seismic change of place and circumstance Judy Cassab, the eternal optimist, looked positively at her new home and found here a rich resource of inspiration in both the land and its peoples. As a portrait painter she was instilled into an artistic milieu that was very familiar with the art of portraiture, largely through the idiosyncratic but indelible Archibald Prize.

Judy Cassab is acknowledged as one of Australia's most celebrated portrait painters which is, I believe, a clue to her wonderful engagement with life, for it is people that are both her ultimate inspiration and the constant refreshment of her indomitable spirit. Her indelible portrait style is similarly evident in her other principal oeuvre, the landscape. The images of desert and rocks, the senses of isolation and introspection they evoke, are signals of her rapport with the physical and material presence of this land and its inherent mysteries. Judy Cassab's richness as an artist is matched only by her insight and humanity.