Classic Works on Paper
2 May - 22 May 2015
69 John Street
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ETHLEEN MARY PALMER (1906-58)
Ethleen Mary Palmer was one of the leading Australian linocut artists of the 20th century.
Prior to her first exhibition of linocuts in 1933, Palmer had built a reputation as a commercial illustrator. Like her contemporaries, Margaret Preston and Thea Proctor, Palmer was influenced by the techniques used by Japanese woodblock artists.
The breakthrough of her career came when she developed a new technique which allowed for tonal graduation. Palmer was called 'the Australian Hokusai'.
Harold Herbert, critic for Argus, stated of an exhibition of Palmer's work in 1936 "Miss Palmer's sense of design is strong and her arrangement of colour excellent. Technically these prints are equal to anything done here.....Among the 33 prints on view, none are poor efforts."
ERIC PRENTICE ANCHOR THAKE (1904-1982)
Eric Thake was an Australian artist and printmaker. He left school in 1918 to be apprenticed to Patterson Shrugg Pty Ltd, a leading process engraving firm where Thake was taught the fine art of highly detailed drawing.
In 1922, Thake enrolled in the drawing class at the National Gallery School in Melbourne and subsequently studied painting and drawing at the George Bell Studio in 1925-28. Thake was also a founding member of the Melbourne Contemporary Group in 1932.
Influenced by the precision of Lionel Lindsay's engravings as well as the powerful silhouettes in Blamire Young's woodcuts, Thake also became increasingly fascinated with the developments in graphic art occuring throughout Europe and in 1930 he exhibited his first series of modern linocuts.
In 1941, Thake sent the first of his personal linocut Christmas cards to his friends. It became a tradition Thake continued until he could no longer see clearly in 1975.
The humorous black and white prints were eagerly anticipated by those lucky enough to receive them. Hal Missingham, a former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales was fortunate enough to be sent one of the most sought after cards today, "An Opera House in every home" in 1972. The following year Missingham gifted the card to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, coinciding with the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.
David Corke, image of Eric Thake sketching in street, 1959