Alexander Sádlo was born in Tulcik, Slovakia, in 1927. He began painting and playing musical instruments at an early age, copying his father.
After the Second World War, Alexander went to Prague to study at the School of Graphic Art. When communist policies prevented his final year, he escaped with some of his friends and lived in a refugee camp in Salzburg for a year before emigrating to Australia in 1950.  In Adelaide, he worked out his ‘bond’ as a railway camp cleaner and then started to paint again.  He later worked for a short time in a ceramics factory, painting religious figures.  It was here where he learnt techniques of glazing which inspired his experiments with enamelling on copper.

In 1954 he began experimenting with 3-D optical effects and taught himself how to create jewellery.  His generation of migrant artists from Eastern Europe stimulated the art scene in Australia, and Alexander was an early member of the Contemporary Art Society of South Australia.

Online catalogue available. Click HERE

Photographs of Alexander Sádlo's work taken by John Hooper
His first one-man show of large paintings and jewellery in 1968 attracted a lot of attention and positive critique, facilitating the purchase of some works by the State and National galleries.  He subsequently held more one-man shows of paintings, including some shows exhibiting large enamels, and a joint exhibition with Gaynor Robinson whom he married in 1972.

They travelled to Europe, and settled in England where Alexander continued to paint. During this period, he exhibited paintings in several group shows at venues in Monte Carlo, Limoges and Tokyo, and one-man exhibitions in Biarritz, France and London.  In 1989 he exhibited his “musician series” of paintings in the international music festival in St Gallen, Austria.  In recent decades he has continued to work on large paintings, collage, enamel jewellery, enamel portraits, ceramics and to experiment with holographic images.

To see Alexander talk about his work in the gallery, click HERE