b. January 1903, Sydney
d. December 1971, Sydney
Albert Rydge began his artistic career studying painting at John Farmer's Sydney Painting School in 1936. During the late 1930s and 1940s he became a student of Max Meldrum, spending time at Meldrum's Kew studio both before and after World War II. He became an enthusiastic proponent of Meldrum's scientific principles of painting - the 'science of appearances'. He taught Meldrum's approach in art schools, and more informal workshop settings, in Sydney and Canberra throughout the 1950s and 60s.
Rydge was a tonal realist. He strove for an objective and truthful record of visual experience. He believed that, through a scientific observation and analysis of tone and tonal relationships, together with proportion and colour, an artist could capture the exact appearance of a scene or subject.
Reviewing Rydge's 1953 solo exhibition at Grosvenor Galleries in Sydney the Daily Mirror Art Critic wrote:
"A selective eye, a developed capacity for observation, and notable technical skill are [Rydge's] main assets.
The show illustrates with considerable force the success that a conscientious follower of the science of appearances can achieve when undiluted objectivity is his aim.
It gives the impression of an artist who never for a moment loses contact with his subject until it has been re-established on canvas."
"Albert Ridge Has Matured", Daily Mirror [Sydney], 25 November 1953
Rydge exhibited regularly in the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. He participated in a number of Meldrum Circle group shows and held solo exhibitions in Sydney at the Grosvenor Galleries, Artarmon Galleries and the Royal College of Surgeons. Rydge was a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW and was awarded the Goulburn Art Prize in 1962.
The Art Gallery of NSW and Wollongong City Gallery have works by Rydge in their collections.
Perry, Peter & John, Max Meldrum & Associates: Their Art, Lives & Influences, Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum, Castlemaine, 1996
Rees, Lloyd, The Small Treasures of a Lifetime, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1969