lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on Australian modern art

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Alvarez, Al (Charles Blackman, illus.)
Macmillan, Melbourne Vic., 1988.
First edition. Hardcover, quarto, 120pp., monochrome and colour illustrations. Dustwrapper with minor wear only. Very good to near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. 'By nature, Blackman is a lyric artist who tends to work fast and to rely a great deal on his technical virtuosity. The rainforest paintings, however, are different. He told me he had painted them in one long burst, but only after a five-year gestation period, and each had taken him weeks, not days, to complete. Behind them is the same lyric impulse that sustains all his best work: 'It's like getting a quick image of something in a dark cave' he said. 'Then the candle blows out and the after image remains in your head'. But the after image left by the rainforest is of something endlessly complex and the paintings seem correspondingly dense, as well as curiously intellectual - taut and highly organized against that teeming but orderly background. The images that emerge - the faces, flowers, creatures, ripples of water - seem as delicate as flowers in the green murk of the undercover... the canvases are as rich and multilayered as the rainforest itself.' - Al Alvarez.
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Amadio, Nadine (Charles Blackman, illus.)
Alice in Rainforest Land
Watermark Press Pty. Ltd., Surry Hills NSW, 1988.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with decorated endpapers; 62pp., with many colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine.
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Angel, Anita
John Firth-Smith From Here to There
Press 8, Surry Hills NSW, 2006.
Quarto; gatefold paperback; 191pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minimal wear. Fine. John Firth-Smith is a painter for whom "art embodies dual orientations: the material and transcendental, the sensual and visionary, the mutable and fixed, arrest and motion. In Firth-Smith's pictorial vocabulary, these dualities are expressed through a synthesis of the abstract, figurative and symbolic. The reciprocal relationship that exists in his art between energy and tranquillity, flux and stasis, instability and equilibrium, is its paramount compositional feature" [Anita Angel].
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Bail, Murray
Ian Fairweather
Bay Books, Sydney/London, 1981.
Hardcover, quarto; blue cloth boards with gilt spine titling and upper board decoration, blue endpapers; 264pp., monochrome and colour illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; slight insect damage to side edges of front endpaper; spotting and a few small marks to text block edges. Very good to near fine otherwise in like blue illustrated dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Murray Bail traces the life of artist Ian Fairweather whose art and solitary travels required wide-ranging research and far reaching searches to find Fairweather paintings, many of which were in private collections. Fairweather's exploration of his artistic potential went hand in hand with a rejection of European society and an appreciation of the cultures and art he found in his sojourns in China, Bali, the Philippines and India. His fascination with Chinese calligraphy and Aboriginal art coupled with the influence of European Cubism and the Slade figure drawing technique and a subtle and sophisticated sense of colour produced a painter of rare quality. Critical appreciation of the art of Ian Fairweather was helped by the support of individual patrons and by the galleries in London and Sydney which exhibited his work. Landing first in Australia early in the 1930s he returned to live and work principally in Melbourne and, later on, Bribie Island where he lived a hermit-like existence and, during the 1960s, produced his finest paintings.
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Boase, T.S.R. (Illus. Arthur Boyd)
Thames & Hudson, London, 1972.
Quarto hardcover; beige cloth board with gilt spine titling, illustrated endpapers; 42pp., and 34 colour paintings and 18 drawings tipped in. Mildly toned text block edges with a few scattered spots; mild offsetting to half-title page; rubbed dustwrapper with chipping and wear at spine panel extremities and corners. Very good with wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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Boyd, Arthur & Peter Porter
Secker & Warburg, London, 1973.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; green cloth boards with gilt spine titling and brown endpapers; 127pp., monochrome illustrations, top edges dyed green. Slightly cocked; mild toning and spotting to text block edges. Illustrated dustwrapper slightly edgeworn with sunned spine and small tear on upper front edge, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good otherwise.
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Bruce, Candice
Lawrence Daws: Asylum in Eden
University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, 2000.
Large quarto hardcover; yellow boards with gilt spine titling and yellow endpapers; 152pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Faint spotting to upper text block edges. Otherwise near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. This book takes us into a world which is both familiar and alien - a world of haunted and enigmatic figures, of dreamscapes and uncanny synchronicities. Profoundly influenced by the writings and thought of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Lawrence Daws is continually drawn to archetypal themes within the everyday world, by polarities in visual imagery, and by what he perceives as alchemical processes of transformation which arise within the artistic imagination. This book provides an overview of both the work itself and also the intellectual and metaphysical perspectives which are innate to his creative process.
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Buckley, Vincent (ed.)
Leonard French The Campion Paintings
Grayflower PublicationsPty. Ltd., Melbourne Vic., 1962.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 104pp., with many colour illustrations. Moderate wear; offset to the endpapers; previous owner's name in ink to the half-title page. Dustwrapper rubbed with a few tears to the edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Carroll, Alison
Barbara Hanrahan Printmaker
Wakefield Press, Netley SA, 1986.
Quarto paperback, 108pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; faint spotting to upper text block edge; near fine otherwise. Barbara Hanrahan's first experiences of 'zinc and copper and acid, wood and stone and ink' began over twenty five years' commitment to the various printmaking media. This book reproduces a small proportion of the images made since 1960 though the selection focusses on the major themes and images as well as on the physical explorations of Hanrahan's prints. The book also traces the three clearest periods of Hanrahan's art: her early development, her first major phase of printmaking from 1963 until 1967 and her second since 1975. Hanrahan's art is highly individual, private and personalized. By its nature printmaking is a challenge: it forces oppositions, the contrast of delicate ink and lithographic stone, fine etching needle and biting acid, precise alignment and bold screenprint colour. And there is the satisfying tactile, physical result - the raised angry scars of the deep etches, the fine, silvery spiders' webs of drypoint lines, the smooth satin sheen of the screenprints, rich with layers of smoothed colour, and the flat scumble of the lithographs, all on thick wads of paper. Hanrahan makes the processes work for her: the process enhances the spirit of the work.
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Carroll, Lewis (Nadine Amadio, ed.; Charles Blackman, illus.)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty. Ltd., Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia, 1982.
Quarto; hardcover, with decorated endpapers; 128pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Upper board slightly bowed; board lower edges scraped; text block edges and preliminaries mildly spotted; previous owner's ink inscription to the half-title page. Dustwrapper sunned along the spine panel; a tear (repaired with tape) with associated creasing to the bottom edge of the upper panel; minor edgewear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Catalano, Gary
The Solitary Watcher Rick Amor and his Art
The Miegunyah Press/Melbourne University Press, Carlton South Vic., 2001.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 201pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; text block top edge lightly spotted. Dustwrapper rubbed and lightly edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This is the first full-length work on Rick Amor. The author Gary Catalano writes of the landscapes of Amor's childhood that haunt his later paintings, of Amor's close friendship with Joan and Daryl Lindsay, his long relationship with the labour movement, and his professional attachment to older artists such as Clifton Pugh and Ian Armstrong. The book's main focus is on the paintings drawings and prints offering a detailed and coherent examination of the development of Amor's art, from his earliest years as an artist to the present.
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Colvin, Robert; Peter Lyssiotis & Theo Strasser
Using Shadows
Abercrombie Hatch & Sons/Whites Law Bindery, Caulfield South Vic., 2005.
Folio; hardcover, with upper board title and a tipped-on decoration; unpaginated (52pp.), on untrimmed heavy stock, with many monochrome and full-colour hand-printed plates. Very minor wear. Fine, with a mylar wrapper. Laid in: a hand-written postcard from Robert Colvin to the previous owner, signed in ink. 'The text is screenprinted and layered into some of the images so that it blends in, and becomes a visual element on the page. Colvin works with the photograph in its crudest form; paper coated with photographic emulsion. The images, shadows cast by plants and objects, become abstract because the process does not allow for detail. This lack of detail heightens the sense of transience, of time passing. Strasser, an abstract painter, works with gouache, hand painting the pages. Lyssiotis uses corrugated cardboard as a printing block; the resultant black lines suggest lines of text, erased - an unintelligible communication.' Monash University. This book is Number 10 from a limited edition run of only 10 copies; signed on the limitations page by the creators.
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Dutton, Geoffrey
Russell Drysdale
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1964.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and upper board decoration; 202pp., with many illustrations, the colour ones being tipped-in. Mild wear; text block and page edges lightly toned. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed with the some minor heat rippling to lacquer on the upper and lower panels; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Russell Drysdale lived in the heart of a huge and hectic city, Sydney, but amongst artists he is perhaps the greatest painter of loneliness. His favourite subjects were the deserted towns and the desert itself, the Aborigines and the tough whites who live in such places. But his sympathy with the figure in the landscape, though tinged with awe, is never weakened by fear. There is no sense of alienation in Drysdale's art, and it is this monumental confidence in the face of the knowledge of loneliness and destruction that gives his work the quality of an old master. He is one of the most important painters in the history of Australian art: thoroughly professional, determinedly independent, unaffected by fashions, belonging to no societies, a friendly man who avoided too many friends. He was happiest of all on his frequent trips to the interior where he could paint, alone and unhurried, the ancient, brooding land and the few lonely people, black and white, who live there. The text by Geoffrey Dutton, poet, author and art critic, is the fruit of a personal friendship with the artist and a long acquaintance with his work. The book includes reproductions of a comprehensive selection of Drysdale's works, a bibliography and a list of exhibitions. The plates were chosen after close consultation with Drysdale; the acuity of the drawings and the richness of the painting displayed in this first full-length study of Drysdale do justice to the intelligence and passionate integrity of this artist.
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Free, Renee & Lloyd Rees
Lloyd Rees: The Last Twenty Years
Craftsman House, 1990.
Quarto hardcover; brown boards with gilt spine titling, brown endpapers; 176pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; foxing to endpapers and half-title pages with mild toning to page edges. Dustwrapper faded especially along spine and upper edges; mild wear to edges (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good. Celebrates Rees' so-called 'later style' which was so rich in creativity and imagination, yet subtle in mood, a period about which Barry Pearce, Curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, wrote: 'Rees had broken through to a Turner-like simplicity, dissolving earthly forms into an ecstatic vision of spiritual possibilities of the Australian landscape.'
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Friend, Donald
Art in a Classless Society & Viceversa A Study of Cultural Eccentricities operating within the confines of Antipodean Normalcy. Copiously Illustrated with the Masterpieces of Avant gard, Centre gard and Derrier gard Artists, along with a Text that is not only astronishingly Profound, but also surprisingly Readable, from the Hand of the Celebrated Author Donald Friend.
Richard Griffin, Cammeray NSW, 1985.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and decorations and black endpapers; unpaginated (99pp.), numerous colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; softening to the spine extremities; previous owner's name in ink to the half-title page; text block top edge dusted lightly. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed with some creasing; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine.
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Fry, Gavin
Nolan's Gallipoli
Rigby, Adelaide, 1983.
First edition quarto hardcover, 118pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Scuffed and lightly frayed lower board edges and corners; faint spotting to upper text block edges and a few spots on preliminaries. Upper edge of dustwrapper mildly worn. Very good to near fine. This book provides a bold and stimulating contrast to the more traditional view of Anzac. Sidney Nolan describes Gallipoli as "the great modern Australian legend, the nearest thing to a deeply felt common religious experience shared by Australians - even today". In this major series of paintings Nolan has combined the historic source material with his own highly expressive imagery, creating a penetrating comment on the familiar account. He chose to depict a number of small elements and develop them as themes - the head of a soldier, the single drowned figure, the uninhabited landscape, the soldiers swimming and playing on the beach, and others. Gavin Fry's introduction provides a clear and concise history and background of this significant series of paintings.
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Grishin, Sasha
Bruno Leti: Portrait of a Printmaker Matrix to Paper, Forty Years of Printmaking
Macmillan, South Yarra, 2011.
Oblong quarto paperback; 192pp., colour illustrations. Remainder. New. 'Bruno Leti's printmaking is to a large extent autobiographical, but it is an autobiography which does not reflect the external circumstances of his life, but rather his internal spiritual growth. In this sense, it is art which is more the mirror of the soul, rather than art that is a mirror of the world. Images seem to pass through Bruno Leti the artist, like through a medium, leaving behind trails of experience. The images are always multifaceted, never literal or descriptive, but drawing on experiences such as childhood memories, chance encounters with nature and the experience of art and literature, as well as the experiences of love and friendship.' - Sasha Grishin.
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Grishin, Sasha
David Blackburn and the Visionary Landscape Tradition
Hart Gallery, London, 1990.
Quarto paperback, 112pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; edge and corner wear to cover with small chip on head of spine; slightly shelf worn cover with some excoriation on lower front. Otherwise very good to near fine. 'Working within a Post Modernist context, Blackburn did not so much adopt a tradition, as adapt it to his own vision. For him the crucial factor remained the metaphysical transformation of the landscape into a metaphor which alluded to something beyond the ordinary and beyond the specific object. His work speaks of the need for art to be a spiritually intense experience, one with a quality of an internal harmony, a quietness and an ordering process. He made the deliberate decision that the neglected medium of the pastel had the qualities of fluidity and colour saturation through which he could best realise his vision, and proceeded to work exclusively in that medium for the next thirty years, except for rare excursions into collage. .. David Blackburn has achieved in his work an art which is so uniquely his own and is of such haunting beauty and spiritual power that it has to be viewed as a major accomplishment on the international art scene.' - Sasha Grishin
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Grishin, Sasha
Garry Shead and the Erotic Muse
Craftsman House, Sydney, 2001.
Quarto hardcover; gold-coloured boards with gilt spine titling; red endpapers; 203pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear only; near fine in dustwrapper with minimal wear to edges (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Sasha Grishin argues that despite the stylistic diversity encountered in Shead's art, there exists a single unifying thread which runs throughout his work - an erotic impulse which allegorically may be associated with the erotic Muse. This is the common strand which runs through his experimental films, it is both the catalyst and central theme of each of his major series of paintings and it is the quintessential inspiration for his collages, drawings, prints and photographs. Yet it is more than an impulse which may be equated with Freud's wish fulfilment through dreams or art, and it is more than daydream subject matter which finds its illustration in art. It is argued in this book that the erotic impulse in Shead's work belongs to the realm of inspiration, profound and central to his being, rather than to any particular genre or literary theme. This impulse can be compared with the artist's Muse, in Shead's case, Erato, the erotic muse. This book brings together an extensive body of illustrations drawn from four decades of the artist's work. In the analysis of Garry Shead's oeuvre, the author draws on the artist's diaries, letters and other unpublished papers.
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Hart, Deborah
Joy Hester and friends
National Gallery of Australia/Craftsman House, Parkes ACT, 2004.
Quarto; paperback; 136pp, with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Near fine. 'Hodgkins disease had [Joy Hester] by the throat, but she danced away from that deadly grip with every atom of her body and pinpoint of time. She drank in life, every offered glass of it, and took strength from it. Her imagination burst out at every tangent and curve of human contact. She did not switch off until every drop of life had been mercilessly wrenched out of her. What we have left are a few drops that crytallised, a few drops of her uttermost being that condensed in the form of line or word, the few drawings and poems, those haunting faces of love, of loss and longing.' - Barbara Blackman
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Hart, Deborah (ed.)
Grace Cossington Smith
National Gallery, Canberra, 2005.
Quarto; paperback; 187pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Minor edgewear and scuffing to cover. Very good to near fine. "Grace Cossington Smith has long been considered an anomaly. Outwardly she was diffident and retiring; she generally dressed in a way that reflected her modesty. She lived a quiet life on the North Shore in Turramurra for most of her life and, unlike so many struggling artists, she was financially independent which enabled her to focus on her art. When she finally came to public prominence, at the time of her first retrospective, Cossington Smith was eighty one years of age, and many still hold in their minds the picture of her as a very proper, diminutive elderly artist. These images do not correspond with stereotypical viewpoints of an avant-garde artist, taken to task for being too radical by the critics in the 1920s and 30s. Yet from the time when she discovered a distinctive approach in her art she refused to compromise her vision and her best works were usually better than those of her modernist peers, especially her male peers. It is the art that endures, ... (she) was a complex, intriguing artist whose oeuvre is as varied as it is brilliant and distinctive." (foreword).
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Hart, Deborah (ed.)
Imants Tillers One World, Many Visions
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT, 2006.
Oblong quarto hardcover; illustrated black boards; 127pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. No dustwrapper as issued. Remainder. New. Issued on the occasion of the first major survey of Imants Tillers' paintings in Australia which included several significant large-scale works. The exhibition emphasised the artist's idiosyncratic approach, his ongoing spirit of inquiry and his responsiveness to the painting process. It demonstrated for the first time that Tillers' art had become better over the years as his work became stronger, conceptually more profound and more sophisticated in its technical, layered, painterly application. Highlights of the show included the paintings from the Diaspora series, some of the largest works painted in this country or indeed anywhere. These works suggest concerns of loss, fragmentation and survival, having a deeply personal relevance for Tillers, whose parents migrated from Latvia. Along with other works, like the major work painted especially for the show, Terra incognita 2005, they revealed his increasing commitment to place. "In the exhibition and publication we can trace the evolution of Tillers' approach from the 1980s, through the 1990s and into the new millennium to discover the relationships and changes across works in response to issues of identity, place, displacement and chance encounters. The idea of surprising correspondences across time and place, which is so strong in Tillers' work, finds a parallel in Lorenz's poetic idea of the Butterfly Effect, where a butterfly fluttering its wings in one place can create changes in weather patterns on the other side of the globe. It is an apt metaphor for a body of work that reveals a vast and intricate web of connections across time and place." - Ron Radford, Director, National Gallery of Australia
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Henshaw, John (ed.)
Godfrey Miller
Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney, 1965.
Hardcover, quarto, unpaginated, colour and monochrome illustrations. Foxed preliminaries; toned and spotted text block edges; dustwrapper lightly worn with a couple of tiny scrapes at head and tail of spine (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). An abridged chronology and an article and writings by the artist. 16 colour plates and 110 illustrations in monochrome - foreword by Peter Bellow.
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Herbert, Xavier (illus. Ray Crooke)
Dream Road
William Collins Publishers Pty. Ltd., Sydney, NSW, Australia, 1977.
First edition thus: quarto; hardcover; 118pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Fairly deep small scrape on lower board edge with scraping also to upper board edges and corners; lightly spotted upper text block edges. Dustwrapper scrape to extremities of spine panel along with some sunning; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Else good to very good. The climactic chapter of 'Terra Australis', the first book of Poor Fellow, My Country. A beautiful example of an artist's interpretation of an author's work.
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Hjorth, Noela
Noela Hjorth Journey of a Fire Goddess
Craftsman House, Roseville NSW, 1989.
Quarto hardcover, 191pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; board edges and corners slightly rubbed and light spotting to upper text block edge. Slight fading to dustwrapper. Otherwise very good to near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. This book draws especially on the artist's personal experiences over many years. Intrigued by the idea of ritual and dance as celebration, she includes sacred images in her art and also reflects on the stages of her own life in terms of rites of passage. She travelled extensively in India and in Indonesia in the 1980s and since then has worked on a series of images inspired by these cultures and by the art of northern Australia, creating myths for the present based on the past.
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James, Bruce
Australian Surrealism - signed The Agapitos/Wilson Collection
Beagle Press, Roseville NSW, 2003.
Quarto; hardcover, with white upper board titling and black endpapers; 203pp., with colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; rubbed board edges with scraped corners; signed in ink by James Agapitos and Ray Wilson. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. The book features the collection of Australian surrealist art from the period 1925 - 1955, collected since 1990 by Sydney private collectors James Agapitos and Ray Wilson. It features major works by 40 artists including James Gleeson, Sidney Nolan, Max Dupain, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, John Perceval, Robert Klippel, Adrian Feint, Loudon Sainthill, Peter Purves Smith, Donald Friend, Dusan Marek and Jeffrey Smart and sculptures by Boyd, Klippel, McAuslan, Inge King, Danila Vassilieff and Oliffe Richmond. Sydney visual arts writer, broadcaster and critic Bruce James has written the text as well as plate commentaries and produced updated biographies of the artists.
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James, Bruce
Grace Cossington Smith
Craftsman House, Roseville NSW, 1990.
Quarto; hardcover; 189pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; some random spotting to the board edges; spotting to upper text block edge; foxing to the preliminaries and one or two spots thereafter. Dustwrapper spine panel slightly faded; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Grace Cossington-Smith occupies a crucial place in Australian art of the Twentieth Century. Recognised for her contribution to the development of a modernist idiom as early as 1915, the year in which she exhibited her precocious "The Sock Knitter", Cossington-Smith has come to be identified by a series of striking and essential masterpieces. "Centre of a City" 1925, "The Bridge In-Curve" 1930. "The Lacquer Room" 1935-36, and any of several resplendent interiors produced between 1954 and 1971, are iconic expressions of the visual culture of a country into whose light she was born in 1892. Her work not only reflects the bourgeois certitude of a life lived undisturbed in Turramurra and devoted entirely to painting, but embraces important social, political and moral considerations which affected Australian history and which necessarily altered the artist's vision of the world.
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Johnson, George (Introduction by Christopher Heathcote)
World View
Macmillan Art Publishing/Palgrave Macmillan/Macmillan Publishers Australia, South Yarra Vic., Australia, 2006.
Quarto; hardcover; 256pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Mildly worn dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. George Johnson arrived in Australia from New Zealand in 1952 and in 1956 held his first exhibition of abstract painting in Melbourne. This book marks the artist's 80th birthday and fifty years of singular dedication to philosophy-based abstract imagery. Johnson's work is uniquely consistent - rarely straying from compositions based on primary shapes and a limited range of colour preferences, but demonstrating how these minimal means can, in combination, serve as surrogates for complex ideas. Additional contributors to the text include the artist's brother, renowned New Zealand poet, Louis Johnson; Australian poet and critic, Gary Catalano and Melbourne philosopher, Patrick Hutchings.
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Johnson, Ken, & Gavin Fry
Ken Johnson: Life and Landscape
Craftsman House, East Roseville NSW, 2000.
Quarto hardcover, 198pp., colour illustrations. Minor wear only; a few random spots on text block edges and spine slightly faded. Very good to near fine. Ken Johnson has been a professional artist for more than thirty years. His beautifully crafted paintings are not simply vehicles for the artist's craftsmanship and virtuosity. Rather, they express philosophical positions through allegory and mystical vision, yet satisfy as works of serenity and beauty that complement modern life. In this book, the artist describes how the opportunity to travel and experience the natural world has nourished his artistic drive.
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Kelen, Christopher "Kit"
pictures of nothing at all the Art and Poetry of Kit Kelen; imagens de coisissima nenhuma
ASM/Flying Islands Books (Cerberus Press), Markwell via Bulahdelah NSW, 2014.
Square royal octavo; gatefold paperback; 146pp., with many colour illustrations. Mild wear; covers lightly rubbed and edgeworn. Very good.
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Klepac, Lou
Judy Cassab Portraits of Artists and Friends
Beagle Press Pty. Ltd., Sydney NSW, 1998.
Quarto; hardcover, with upper board titling; 128pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; mild scraping to the board edges and spine extremities; a few faint spots on upper text block edge. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. This book is compiled from the portraits of artists and friends which the artist has painted for her own pleasure. It includes extracts from unpublished sections of her diaries. Among the sitters are Charles Blackman, Edmund Capon, Gordon Chater, Margaret Fink, Elaine Haxton, Thomas Keneally, Robert Morley, Desiderius Orban, Stan Rapotec, Lloyd Rees, Jeffrey Smart, Morris West and Brett Whitely.
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Klepac, Lou
Russell Drysdale 1912-1981
Murdoch Books, Miller's Point, 2009.
Revised edition. Large quarto hardcover; olive coloured boards with white upper board and spine titling, grey endpapers; 384pp., colour and monochrome illustrations and plates. Minor wear; tiny scrapes on board corners and very mild wear to corners of dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Else fine. "Lou Klepac's weighty monograph on Russell Drysdale was first issued in 1983, less than two years after the artist's death in June 1981. At that time the book seemed like a landmark in Australian art publishing, both for the thoroughness of its research and the quality - and quantity - of reproductions. Decades later, it is one of several publications from the Bay Books back catalogue reissued by Murdoch Books. It follows updated versions of Patrick McCaughey's Fred Williams and Murray Bail's Ian Fairweather, both of which remain indispensable reference works on those artists. Of the three books, Klepac's Drysdale has undergone the fewest revisions and alterations. The original edition had 383 pages; the new one has 384 pages. The earlier edition had 183 plates; the new one has 180, although the apparent reduction is a matter of reclassifying plates and illustrations. The only significant addition to the writing is a two-page preface by the author. In the original edition the plates were all clustered at the back of the book; now they are integrated within the text. The images are a lot sharper, the typeface more attractive and the bibliography has been brought up to date... Drysdale remains one of the most important and distinctive Australian artists of the 20th century, the creator of iconic pictures such as The Cricketers, The Drover's Wife and Sofala, which have burnt themselves into the national consciousness. Klepac is right to say that Drysdale's vision owed more to artists such as De Chirico than it did to the landscape traditions of the Heidelberg School but, out of this distant, Euro-centric, intellectual approach, he crafted paintings that have summed up the very essence of this country. Look, for instance, at The Cricketers - a lonely backyard contest between bat and ball, set in the ghost town of Hill End. The scene is given an apocalyptic tone by a glowering sky. The bowler's arm is poised to deliver a ball that will never be delivered. It is a perfect suspension of time and action, a portrayal of life as a game in a world from which God has absented himself. In the past, Drysdale's paintings seemed to be set in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. Nowadays we might think of a planet ravaged by an ecological catastrophe. Either way, the setting is a hot, dry land that has never given an inch to its would-be conquerors. It is a vision that seems no less relevant today than it did in the 1940s. One feels instinctively that the artist who painted such works had some very dark places within his mind. Klepac hints at these aspects of Drysdale's personality, without venturing too deeply beneath the surface. We learn that Drysdale was a procrastinator who often had to force himself to work. He was a natural-born draughtsman who drew with ease and fluency but painting was almost always a painful process. This is apparent in the clumsy, rather laborious nature of some of his later works. Although Drysdale was the perennial 'good bloke' who made friends easily and was at home in any company, he was also subject to what we would now call bouts of depression. At the very height of his success - after his 1961 retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW - he endured the tragedy of the suicide of his disturbed son, Tim. Sixteen months later, his wife, Bon, took the same path, leaving Drysdale to endure with a stoicism that the drover's wife might have envied. Klepac passes over these events as quickly as possible, showing a degree of tact that most biographers do not possess. He writes primarily as an art historian, basing his narrative on a study of the work. This entails a detailed overview of Drysdale's sources and influences, the materials he used and his attitudes towards his craft. Very occasionally Klepac permits himself a burst of hyperbole. 'What a magnificent composition this is!' he gasps in front of the painting West Wyalong. Elsewhere he seems less convinced. In relation to a series of works from the late 1950s, he writes: 'Technically and visually the effect is magnificent but there is little empathy.' This is a coded way of saying that by this stage Drysdale had lost the breathtaking power - that sense of absolute rightness - that animated his paintings of the forties. We should, perhaps, be pleased that Klepac is prepared to acknowledge these shortcomings, however obliquely. Too many artist monographs treat their subjects like superheroes. Klepac points out that Drysdale's sympathetic portrayals of the Aborigines played a role in giving a human face to those people of the desert who had been effectively ignored by white society up until that time. .. If we are ever to see Drysdale in his entirety, we must not only read Klepac's book - we must read between the lines. " - John McDonald
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Klepac, Lou (Essay by Hendrik Kolenberg)
Shay Docking Drawings
Beagle Press Pty. Ltd., Sydney NSW, 1990.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt upper board and spine titling; 112pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; mild spotting to text block edges; a few scattered spots on half-title and title pages; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf. Dustwrapper sunned along spine and main panel edges; a small tear to the upper panel near the flap-turn; some scuffing to the lower panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Features 83 of the artist's finest drawings and five pastels and watercolours reproduced in colour.
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Klepac, Lou with Morris West & Barry Pearce
The Beagle Press, Sydney, 1994.
Large quarto hardcover; red cloth boards with gilt upper board and spine titling, black endpapers; 176pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear only; a few very faint spots on upper text block edge and minimal wear to dustwrapper edges. Near fine and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. This book which spans a retrospective of Frank Hodgkinson's very active career reveals him to be not only one of the finest Australian abstract painters, but equally a marvellous draughtsman, an exceptional etcher and a most interesting and talented writer. Hodgkinson has also been active as an occasional sculptor; he has decorated ceramics with his wife Kate and has been involved in the creative design of several architectural complexes in Spain and Italy. The book contains an essay on Hodgkinson's work by Barry Pearce and 'Notes for an Autobiography' by the artist.
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Legge, Geoffrey with Renee Free, Daniel Thomas & Terence Maloon
Tuckson Tony Tuckson
Craftsman House, Fisherman's Bend, 2006.
Quarto hardcover; illustrated black boards with red spine titling and pale blue endpapers; 204pp., colour and monochrome illustrations and plates. One or two superficial scratches to dustwrapper. Near fine and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. In his lifetime, Tony Tuckson's career as a painter was overshadowed by his profession in art museum administration - he was Deputy Director of the Art Gallery of NSW from 1957 until his early death, aged 52, in 1973. This book illustrates his development from early paintings that showed a profound understanding of Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Klee, De Kooning, Pollock and many others to a mature style all his own. From early figuration, through abstract expressionism, to gestural paintings that can bear comparison with the greatest abstract art of the last century. Included here are seminal essays by Daniel Thomas and Renee Free on Tuckson's painting and his professional work. Additionally, in this edition, Terence Maloon discusses Tuckson's work within an international context.
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Leti, Bruno
The Matrix Remembering Giorgio Morandi: Equilibrium and Strength
Macmillan/State Library of Victoria, South Yarra Vic., 2010.
Oblong quarto hardcover; illustrated boards; 128pp., colour illustrations. Remainder. New. "The matrix represents the print in its ideal and unrealised form, captured in marks and lines, awaiting ink and paper. While the matrix is essential for the production of a print, it is often discarded upon use, being considered a residual left-over, extraneous to the outcome. The completed print on the other hand, is a reflection of the image on the matrix, a mirror. Yet in the act of printing, the matrix is transformed, re-configured by printer's ink or paint. Bruno Leti's plates were never intended to be viewed as works of art separate to the prints for which they were made. Yet, looking at them closely, these matrices go some way toward uncovering the beauty and mystery of the printmaking process... Bruno's matrices reveal themselves to us in the play of light and shadow, their rectangular forms criss-crossed with lines and markings, scraped into metal like a secret language. Elusive and unknowable they present themselves as mysterious objects, illuminating Bruno Leti's practice as artist and printmaker." - Des Cowley
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Lynn, Elwyn & Sidney Nolan
Sidney Nolan - Australia
Bay Books, Sydney, 1979.
Quarto hardcover; black cloth boards with gilt spine titling and upper board decoration; illustrated brown endpapers; 226pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Spotting on half-title page and lightly spotted and toned text block and page edges; two small scrapes at dustwrapper corners, mild edgewear; spine lightly toned. Otherwise very good to near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Sidney Nolan is dedicated to depicting the diversity of the Australian landscape and the emotions it evokes. Its serenity, menace, lushness and its remote indifference; its barrenness and its fecundity are all observed with verve and relish. And the Australian landscape, whether haphazard scrubland or as background for the continuing saga of Ned Kelly, remains the prime source of Nolan's inspiration. Ranging through forty years of his career, this book traces the development of Nolan's original vision to the works he did especially for this book on 'the dead heart' which he revisited in 1978. Those paintings and drawings, commented upon by Nolan, crystallize his views on the uniqueness of the Australian light and colour. The book thus allows us to see the works as individual creations through the artist's own eyes, and Nolan's comments are as fresh and vivacious as the works themselves. Eminent critics and commentators remark of the paintings as well as does Elwyn Lynn who has selected the works and contributed a searching introduction. Full colour reproduction of all the works.
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McCaughey, Patrick
Fred Williams
Bay Books, Sydney NSW, 1980.
First edition. Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board decoration; 340pp., with a folding colour frontispiece, an illustrated title page and many colour and monochrome illustrations, some folding. Minor wear; flyleaf creased; faint foxing to preliminaries; one of the folding illustrations creased. Dustwrapper rubbed and sunned along the spine panel; slight creasing to the spine panel head; some small chips to the top of the lower hinge; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. 'Like every major artist, Fred Williams was exceptional to his age, not typical of it. He was the well trained painter, conscious and careful of the craft of his art, in an age which has believed in the artist as 'the wild, untutored phoenix'. Predominantly, although not exclusively, a landscape painter, he was overridingly concerned with the formal, 'abstract' qualities and properties of his art. He had a particular sympathy and interest in later nineteenth century Australian painting, the Heidelberg School, Hugh Ramsay and Rupert Bunny, yet his art is thoroughly modernist. By generation, he belonged to the 'heroic years' of modern Australian painting, 1940-1965 yet his art mediates the major shift in sensibility from the heroic image - expressive, figurative, Antipodean - to the more impersonal and abstract ways of Australian painting after 1965. The painter who is exceptional to his age becomes, paradoxically its touchstone of quality.' - Patrick McCaughey
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McCaughey, Patrick (ed.)
Bert & Ned The Correspondence of Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan
Miegunyah Press, Melbourne Vic., 2006.
Small quarto hardcover, 257pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan were friends and rivals but never antagonists for the whole of their working lives as artists. Together they participated in the struggle to establish modern art in Australia in the 1940s. From the outset they were regarded as major artists possessed of a powerful and original vision. Yet by a quirk of fate they rarely lived in the same city or the same continent after 1947. Each deeply valued the friendship, however, and strove to preserve it through this remarkable correspondence. Covering a period of more than thirty years, the letters throw refreshing new light on their expatriate years in the 1950s and mark their changing and changeable attitude to Australia, both as place and culture. Patrick McCaughey, art critic and historian, who knew both artists, has written an introduction that explores the various themes running through these letters and annotated them so that the reader can feel and hear the voices of these vivid and lively correspondents.
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McDonald, John
Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the 70s and 80s
Craftsman House, Sydney, 1992.
Hardcover, quarto, 168pp., monochrome and colour illustrations. Foxing to preliminaries, spotting to upper text block edge, some rubbing to lower board edges around spine, light rubbing and marks to dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). To account for the haunting quality of his images, critics have described Jeffrey Smart as a surrealist, a hyperrealist, a commentator on modern alienation, or a maker of "Orwellian statements", then there must be something in his work which encourages these interpretations. By looking closely at the implications of two epithets which are often applied to Smart - his 'classicism' and his taste for 'the absurd' - one may hope to shed some new light on this wilfully mysterious artist. As a general rule, for almost every one of Smart's paintings, one might adapt Sartre's description of Camus's novel, The Outsider: "a classical work, an orderly work, composed about the absurd and against the absurd".
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McGrath, Sandra
The Artist & The River Arthur Boyd and the Shoalhaven
Bay Books, Sydney, 1982.
Hardcover quarto; dark blue boards with gilt spine titling and small upper board gilt decoration, blue endpapers 312pp., colour and monochrome plates. Minor wear; a few scattered spots on half-title verso and light spotting to text block edges; mild scuffing to dustwrapper with wear on head of spine; professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Otherwise near fine in like dustwrapper. Once described as a man of two worlds (Australia and Europe), painter Arthur Boyd is today firmly established in one world: the magnificent Shoalhaven district in the southern tablelands of New South Wales. The story of how this change occurred is the story of "The Artist and the River". Sandra McGrath traces the development of Boyd's Shoalhaven paintings from his first, hasty oil sketch of the river, through to his most recent, masterly works. Drawing on many hours of discussion with the artist, she explores in detail the scenes, events and imagery which have enabled him to 'tame' the Shoalhaven landscape, as well as explaining the significance of the Shoalhaven paintings in the context of his earlier work. In addition, Boyd himself comments on his Shoalhaven paintings individually, providing a fascinating insight into his life and work and, of course, his relationship with the Shoalhaven area. The text is accompanied by illustrations of over ninety of Boyd's Shoalhaven paintings, examples of his earlier work, sketches from his notebook, and photographs of the Shoalhaven area and of Boyd at work. In documenting so thoroughly Arthur Boyd's latest work, this book fills a vital gap in Australian art literature. It will appeal not only to those interested in art, but also to anyone interested in the Australian landscape.
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McGregor, Ken
Robert Jacks Past Unfolded
Fine Arts Publishing, St Leonards NSW, 2001.
Square quarto hardcover, 168pp., 100 colour illustrations. Mauve boards worn at lower edge and corners. Light marks to edges of title page. Minor edge and corner wear to dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Jacks has always remained true to his early love of abstraction and strikingly simplified geometric forms evident in the cool minimalism of his work. This book surveys Jack's career from the late 1950's to more recent works, including Sketches of Spain and the influences that inspired the grid works, Texas landscapes and his disposable art.
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Melville, Robert
Ned Kelly: 27 Paintings by Sidney Nolan
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1964.
Hardcover, octavo, xiii + 60pp. Foxed preliminaries and spotted text block edges; else very good in like dustwrapper. The names of Ned Kelly and Sidney Nolan have become especially connected. As the pictorial biographer of Kelly, Nolan has recreated the myth and has captured its spirit in a convincing, timeless, legendary way. The first series of Kelly pictures was painted between 1945 and 1947. Each of the paintings represents a particular episode in the story. This book reproduces the complete series of 27 paintings in colour.
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Mollison, James & Bonham, Nicholas
Albert Tucker
Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1982.
Quarto hardcover; red boards with gilt spine titling, dark red endpapers; 144pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Wear to board edges and corners; toning to text block and page edges. Very good in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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Mollison, James, with John Brack
Fred Williams - Etchings: association copy
Rudy Komon Gallery, Woollahra NSW, 1968.
Quarto; hardcover; 132pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; mild insect damage to the board top and bottom edges, with some bumps; spine extremities softened; a surface tear and some scraping to the top corner and fore-edge of the upper board; some faint moisture damage to the upper board from having been used as a coaster; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf; some marks to the text block edges. Dustwrapper is scuffed and worn with some marks creases and stains, all minor; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This copy the former possession of Charles Merewether, director of the 2006 Sydney Biennale, and signed by him.
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Moore, Felicity St John
Vassilieff and his Art
Oxford University Press, Melbourne Vic., 1982.
Small quarto hardcover, 192pp. Foxed preliminaries, spotted upper text block edge, minor wear, few small red stains. Very good in dustwrapper slightly worn along upper edge. Colour and black and white plates. Professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Vassilieff was a passionate, freedom-loving cossack who burst upon the Australian art scene in the mid-1930s fired with a belief in creation and fortified by the enthusiastic reception of his work in London. To the majority of the art world, at that time, the emotionalism of Vassilieff's art came as a threat and his work was generally disparaged or ignored. Felicity Moore combines a fluent appraisal of the quality and content of Vassilieff's art with a witty and compassionate account of this exotic character whose struggle to prove himself as a man and an artist was the fundamental compulsion of his life.
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O'Brien, Philippa
Robert Juniper
Craftsman House, East Roseville NSW, 1992.
Quarto hardcover, 166pp., colour illustrations. Mild wear; faint spotting to text block top edge; some foxing to the preliminaries; very minor edge and corner wear to lower board edges. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good. Robert Juniper depicts the landscape as a vast, cumulative field of memory, where faint traces of European existence litter a panorama of gigantic scale and enormous age. The transient and ephemeral presence of European civilisation is thrown into relief by the enduring resilience of the landscape itself and by reminders of the Aboriginal presence, benign, self-renewing and all-encompassing, its indigenous imagery evolved from this landscape.
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Olsen, John
My Salute to Five Bells
NLA Publishing, Canberra, 2015.
Hardcover, quarto; 79pp., colour & monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper New. Remainder. My Salute to Five Bells by John Olsen charts the journey of one of Australia's greatest living artists at work on the biggest commission of his career. Member of the Order of Australia and Archibald-prize-winner John Olsen was an established artist in 1971 when commissioned to produce a mural for the Sydney Opera House. The process was at times intellectually and creatively stimulating and at others emotionally draining as Olsen battled ignorance - the mural was scratched with nails by unimpressed workmen onsite - time constraints, and even silent judgement by royalty as he guided the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh past the mural under the gaze of the world's media. The result is a stunning aerial view of Sydney's harbour, populated with crabs and fish and squid, whose colours change as the sun moves across the sky. The book features a full reproduction of Olsen's illustrated journal, one of the most spectacular art manuscripts in the National Library of Australia's collection. This richly illustrated scrapbook of thoughts, quotes, diary entries, original drawings, and magazine and book clippings, documents Olsen's Sydney Opera House experience from his initial speechlessness at being asked to do the mural to his attempts to instil 'wacky madness, more humour' into it, and his very palpable relief towards the end. Olsen's great intellect and creativity shine through in his lists of 'Things I like', haikus, and playful and poetic expression. His margin notes and reminders, such as `You've got to interrupt the gestalt' and 'Remember Olsen vitality transcends pleasure', offer great insight into the artistic process of one of Australia's living treasures.
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Olsen, John with Mary Durack, et al.
The Land Beyond Time A Modern Exploration of Australia's North-West Frontiers
Macmillan, Crows Nest NSW, 1984.
Folio hardcover, black boards with red upper board titling and blind-stamped lizard decoration, red spine titling; 312pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Prize sticker on endpaper. Minor wear only; near fine. Minimal wear to dustwrapper edges with small crease to lower front edge (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). "This book results from a commission from the Christensen Fund in the early 1980s to undertake 'a modern exploration' of north-west Australia. Olsen, along with Mary Durack (historian and author), Geoffrey Dutton (poet), Vincent Serventy (naturalist) and Alex Bortignon (photographer), travelled extensively throughout the west on a voyage of rediscovery. His paintings, drawings and water-colours give an unusually candid and colourful account of the journey. His portrayal of Aboriginal families, the landscape and fauna are incisive and perceptive. Of the journey, Olsen says: 'Mere scientific observation or topographical rendering in itself would be quite unsatisfactory if it were not informed by some mythical moving force. Man can be seen as another 'magical' source, not dominant, but part of nature's unity. During the expedition I was constantly reminded of Elliot's line in the quartets: 'I am in the landscape and the landscape is in me'. Olsen's strident personal vision of the landscape is a volatile blend of symbolism, expression and naturalism. In his major paintings, the landscape lies flat beneath the viewer, the perspectives gained from flight. This innovation permits the marks and lines on the canvas to be energised and empowered with suggestion and symbolism. A flick of the brush becomes a metaphor for life itself. "- Michael Pursche.
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Oppen, Monica
(Beyond this Point unfolds a) Tale of Love In Five Short Chapters + Retrospectus
Ant Press/Catnip Press, Redfern NSW, 1990-1992.
Folio; unbound, in a folding solander box; 21 leaves of printed and painted untrimmed hand-made paper, interleaved with tissue guards. Very minor wear. Near fine. Also: "Retrospectus" - 8 printed leaves in printed, slipcased folder; near fine. Laid in: a letter from the author, and a printed guide for assembling the work in the correct sequence. Number 2 in a very limited print run of only 6 copies.
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Pearce, Barry
Arthur Boyd: Retrospective With Contributions by Hendrik Kolenberg, Deborah Edwards, Grazia Gunn and Patricia R McDonald
The Beagle Press, 1993.
Large quarto hardcover; yellow papered boards with white upper board and spine titling, illustrated endpapers; 200pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; faint spotting to upper text block edges. Otherwise near fine in like dustwrapper, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. The achievements of Arthur Boyd and indeed of the Boyd dynasty are impressive and have contributed hugely to the breadth, credibility and identity of Australian art. The sheer emotive richness of Boyd's work is ever apparent, from the disturbing mystery of the biblical paintings to the reflective stillness of the Shoalhaven series. Few Australian artists have cast their vision across so broad a landscape of ideas and traditions, both real and mythological as Arthur Boyd and few have sustained their creative powers with such force and energy. This retrospective volume of works accompanied a Sydney exhibition of the same name. Contributions by Hendrik Kolenberg, Deborah Edwards, Grazia Gunn. Exhibition research by Patricia R. McDonald.
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Pearce, Barry
Brett Whiteley Art & Life, 1939-1992
Thames & Hudson (Aust.) Pty. Ltd./Art Gallery of New South Wales, London, 1995.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and upper board decoration; 240pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; cocked; previous owner's ink inscription to the flyleaf; very light spotting to the text block top edge. Slight scuffing and edgewear to the dustwrapper; spotted on the verso; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "Whiteley may always be linked with that somewhat quixotic image of a man travelling through life at a pace that permitted only a momentary touching, encounters of tantalizing brevity and an almost careless disregard, but that was the inevitable nature of a man who sought the mirage of freedom. There is a sense of liberation in his art which is captured in that unequivocal delight in the experience of the moment the indulgent sensuality and the satisfaction and fulfilment of the moment. Whiteley's investigations have no profounder aspirations than to immortalize the experience, and this he achieved with unrelenting imagination, individuality and ultimately an immense and humane beauty. That beauty is enshrined in his drawing: the sweeping if at times laboured lines, the varied detail of imagery evoked in his views and landscapes, and above all in his delight in capturing in the visual expression. Whether the enveloping line of a nude, the seemingly random lines of a Parisian balcony, the rich roundness of the Olgas, a bird, a tree or a flower, the texture of sensuality was for him an essential mark of human experience and involvement," wrote Edmund Capon. This book coincided with an exhibition - a retrospective of the artist's work. There are 180 coloured plates dating from the 1950s to the last years of the artist's life. Bryan Robertson offers an impression of Whiteley's years in London, and Wendy Whiteley contributes a portrait of the man behind the work.
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Pearce, Barry (with Lou Klepac,
Donald Friend, 1915-1989 Retrospective
The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Domain Sydney NSW, 1990.
Quarto; paperback; 160pp., numerous monochrome and colour plates. Minor wear; page and text block edges spotted. Otherwise very good to near fine. Donald Friend's greatest fame came during his years in Bali, where he lived and worked between 1966 and 1980. Here his artistic intentions were similar to and perhaps even modelled slightly upon, those of Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. The main difference of course being that he lived a life of inspirational indulgence and luxury in comparison with Gauguin in his tropical paradise. However, Donald Friend's Balinese sojourn is only one part of a remarkable and controversial life in art; he was a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator writer as well as an inspired collector. His work constantly refreshed by new experience, emphasises and expresses every shade and dimension of his life; it never falls dry and somnolent.
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Pearce, Barry (Introduction by Edmund Capon)
Michael Johnson
The Beagle Press, Sydney NSW, 2004.
Large quarto; hardcover, with upper board titles; 204pp., with many colour illustrations. Minor wear; a mark to the front free endpaper. Near fine in like dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). "Johnson's is the generation of Brett Whiteley and Dick Watkins, Tony McGillick, Wendy Paramour and John Howley; of hard-edge and colour-field experimentation, of minimalism, of the emergence of pop and conceptual art - and of the ideological dominance of American abstraction and all that followed it. This generation was at the coalface, as it were, of the great changes that were taking place in the post 1960s turmoil that was contemporary art practice. He, too, made the journey to London, to Europe, to New York, to explore and absorb - accept or reject - the ideas swirling through the art studios, schools, galleries. Johnson was born in 1938 in Mosman. His early years were spent wandering the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, fascinated with the patterns and scrolls of its shorelines, the iridescent surfaces of its changing tides, their expansions and retractions. His first painting was a small watercolour of Sirius Cove, painted when he was 10. As Pearce writes eloquently in the book, it was in this environment that Johnson became aware of the 'interrelationship between what could be seen on the surface of water, and what was suffused, refracted or invisible beneath it'. Even today he will talk of his paintings' 'breathing', of their expansions and contractions, their spirals, centrifuges and whirls, as if they were tidal - or at least, living, breathing substance. At other times he will talk of them as music, not substance, where colours are chords, with different tonal and melodic values, lines and blobs the staves, and he the orchestrator of gesture and pitch. Yet always Johnson's sustaining trope is the tension between surface and Yeats's notion of 'the deep' - that 'deep heart's core' that Yeats writes about, where being resides. He is after a corporeal universe that is simultaneously both substance and deep space. 'I want to suggest an underlying existence, yes,' says Johnson of his art, 'but - and this is the problem I am still wrestling with - I still haven't solved it. I can't make it be there in them. Because it's not. It's only paint. I can only make an allusion to it. Otherwise, it would be an illustration of it. And that's impossible.' While Pearce was tiptoeing around the edge of his volcano, wondering whether to peer in, or merely allude to it, the decision was made for him. 'None of that personal, emotional stuff,' Johnson told Pearce. 'No biographical stuff, that is another book. If there is any biography, it is how it relates to the art. Best to get the work down.' Michael Johnson is therefore not about Johnson, as such. With more than 100 large colour plates, photographs of Johnson art work and Pearce's careful journey through Johnson's ideas and practice, it is instead an account of the evolution of his thinking about art. 'His life, if you like, has been a quest,' says Pearce, 'a quest to understand the language of painting - and then transform it into his own voice. That is what the book's about.' What lies beneath the volcano, buried in the archaeological layers of feeling, behind the skin of the eye, is, as Johnson himself said, the subject of another book." - Angela Bennie, Sydney Morning Herald.
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Rees, Lloyd (with Renee Free)
An Artist Remembers
Craftsman House, Seaforth, 1988.
Hardcover, square quarto, 160pp., colour illustrations. A few tiny spots on upper text block edge; mild offsetting to half-title and front endpaper verso. Illustrated blue dustwrapper slightly sunned and discoloured with small bump and creasing on head of spine panel, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Lloyd Rees looks back over his own work and selects paintings which he feels are distinctive milestones in his long career as an artist. Assisted by noted art historian Renee Free, who helped to transcribe and edit numerous interview tapes, Lloyd Rees takes us on a journey through the many impressions which have shaped his life and vision.
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Roberts, Tom (compiled); Geoff Gaylard (ed.)
Australian Impressionist and Realist Artists
Graphic Management Services, Melbourne.
Hardcover, quarto, 228pp., colour illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear only; light spotting on upper text block edge and scuffed dustwrapper with a few scratches and wear to edges (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good otherwise. 210 works by 70 living Australian artists.
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Spartalis, Arthur
Henri van Raalte - signed by the author Master Printmaker
Arthur Spartalis Fine Art, Perth WA, 1989.
Quarto; paperback; 118pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; signed in ink on the first page. Near fine. Van Raalte was born in London in 1881 to a Dutch father and an English mother. He was educated at the City of London School, the Royal Academy and later in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 1901 he was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, and in the same year had a picture hung at the Royal Academy exhibition. He emigrated to Western Australia in 1910 and founded a school of art at Perth. Van Raalte did many etchings and aquatints, often taking gum trees for his subjects. An exhibition of his work was held at Perth in 1919 and was followed by another at Adelaide. In 1921 he was appointed curator of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He resigned in January 1926 after a dispute with the president of the Gallery's board, subsequently establishing a studio at Second Valley, South Australia, where he lived for the last three years of his life.
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St John Moore, Felicity
Charles Blackman Schoolgirls and Angels
National Gallery, Melbourne Vic., 1993.
Quarto; gatefold paperback; 142pp., colour plates. Exhibition catalogue. Light wear to card covers; and faint spotting on upper text block edges; else fine. Exhibition catalogue.
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Stewart, Meg
Margaret Olley: Far from a Still Life
Random House, Sydney, 2005.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; black boards with silver gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 568pp., monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; lightly toned text block and page edges with a few small marks and spots; slightly rubbed dustwrapper. Very good to near fine and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. A rich and comprehensive look at Margaret Olley - at her lovers and friends, and, of course her painting. It is glorious proof that indeed her life has been far from still.
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Storrier, Tim (Foreword by Edmund Capon; William Wright, ed.)
Macmillan, South Yarra Vic., 2009.
Large quarto hardcover; dustwrapper; 331pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Remainder. New. "Storrier's images, so moved by his own experience and imagination, are the embodiment of memory and thus fraught with the dangers of cliche and nostalgia, but I would assert that the legitimacy and authority of personal experience triumphs unquestionably, aided by the discretions of his techniques. Tim Storrier is a surprisingly thoughtful artist, his works are from speculative forays; nothing is arbitrary in his selection of place and motifs, they are long contemplated narratives defined by the landscape in which he has lived and which still piques and defines his own sense of experience. That is a guarantee of authenticity and of the sheer necessity of his work." - Edmund Capon.
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Stourton, Patrick Corbally
The Gold Sculptures of Sir Sidney Nolan
Corbally Stourton, Edgecliff, nd.
Quarto hardcover; black illustrated boards with gilt spine titling, black endpapers; 101pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild scuffing to dustwrapper. Very good to near fine and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. "Did Sidney Nolan ever make sculptures? Most people, including those who know him well would say no. These four small gleaming pieces never exhibited before seem to be the only ones and they represent a hitherto unknown aspect of his work. Nolan seems to have been inspired by seeing several of the rather similar small works which the French jewellery maker and master craftsman, Francoise Hugo had made for other artists. Francois Hugo, a great-grandson of Victor Hugo and brother of the painter and theatre designer, Jean Hugo, was on friendly terms with a number of artists, including Picasso... By the late 1960s he was in such demand for work that he was dividing his time between creating his own exquisite brooches and bracelets and carrying out commissions for the like of Picasso, Max Ernst and the heirs of Andre Derain. Though he has since died, his records survived and there is a card for each of these Nolan works, each with a tiny photograph or sketch drawing. They not only give the titles as used her but show that 'Tete d'homme' was the first one he sent to Hugo in 1967. Though a bronze cast was ready by the end of April, work on it was then temporarily abandoned (the records state 'main blesse etc') and it was not taken up again and finished until September 1971. It was an artist's copy in silver, Nolan was clearly very pleased with it as he ordered two further copies in gold, the first of a projected edition of six. Then in August 1972 he sent Hugo the other three to be made in gold as well...This was the period when Nolan was engaged on some of his largest and most ambitious projects, such as the mural scale 9 panel paintings - Inferno; Riverbend; Glenrowan and the enormous Paradise Garden. These little hand-sized sculptures, modelled and pressed into shape by the thumbs and fingers, stand in contrast to these. But of course they also relate to some of the heads he was painting at the time to the studies of animals he made, after a visit to Africa and even to the figures in the 'Inferno' in which the heads are much more clearly defined than the bodies." - Ronald Alley
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Taylor, Alex
Perils of the Studio Inside the artistic affairs of bohemian Melbourne
Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty. Ltd., North Melbourne Vic., 2007.
Quarto; hardcover, with black endpapers; 215pp., with many monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Mild wear. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed and edgeworn (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good to near fine. Bohemians or businessmen? Moral behaviour or misbehaving with the models? In the early 20th century, there was much speculation about what was going on behind the curtains of bohemia. With its heady mixture of cheerful poverty, promiscuity and inspired creativity, the resonance of the studio is as powerful today as it was several decades ago. Perils of the Studio reveals how the romance and mythology of the artists' studio defined the character of the Australian artist. Focusing on inner-city bohemia before 1940, including the famous Grosvenor Chambers at 9 Collins Street, this book is the first attempt to examine the role of the studio in Australian art. With over 100 rarely seen works by painters, photographers and cartoonists, Alex Taylor combines stories and anecdotes drawn from newspapers and magazines in a unique cultural history.
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Vader, John
The Pottery and Ceramics of David & Hermia Boyd
Phillip Matthews Publishers/Currawong Press Pty. Ltd./Hutchinson Group (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., Milsons Point NSW, 1977.
Quarto; hardcover, with upper board titles; 144pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; board edges scraped; lightly toned text block edges; previous owner's name in ink to the flyleaf. Minor scuffing to dustwrapper; sunned along the spine panel; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. David and Hermia Boyd's work is often quirky and unusual. Their style owes nothing to the Leach/Hamada tradition. They used a range of techniques based on white earthenware or terracotta clay, metallic lustres and washes, sgraffito drawing through tin or black glaze and underglaze or overglaze decoration. They were influenced by French provincial pottery and medieval imagery. The Boyds' work was marketed as art pottery through exhibitions rather than through shops - they had sell-out shows and, being bohemian and highly attractive, were often featured in the social pages. Their pots were collected by all the major galleries and they were accorded considerable respect as artists. The various generations of Boyds never embraced stoneware or the Anglo-Oriental aesthetic, perhaps one of the reasons their contribution was largely ignored by the early emerging powerbrokers of Australian ceramics.
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Weston, Neville
Lawrence Daws
A.H. & A.W. Reed, Frenchs Forest NSW, 1982.
Folio hardcover, 144pp., colour illustrations. Faintly spotted title page and very minor toning and spotting of text block edges. Dustwrapper sunned along edges. Otherwise very good to near fine. Cataclysmic events, heaven-borne disasters and lone travellers cocooned in private clouds of self-destruction are typical themes to be found in Daws' paintings. In contrast to the recurrent themes of menace are sequences of warmth and light, in paintings which describe, with great tenderness, human relationships between old outback miners or young lovers on beaches. The visually exciting colour plates and a text which examines and analyses the cyclical changes and recurring patterns of motifs gives a purposeful overview of the artist and his work.
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Whiteley, Brett
Pegasus Books, 1979.
Quarto, paperback; not paginated. Monochrome plates throughout. A few faint spots on upper text block edges. Near fine and protected in book wrap.
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Young, John
Silhouettes and Polychromes
Schwartz City, Melbourne Vic., 1993.
Quarto hardcover, 146pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear only; very good to near fine in like dustwrapper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. 'The work of John Young is exceptional in its engagement with a world of images, ranging from painting to photography and including the eccentricities of mechanically reproduced images, while at the same time being solidly based on his study of philosophy and contemporary theory of the visual arts. This book addresses fifteen years of his artistic practice, which has developed during a period of profound artistic and intellectual shifts, both in Australia and in art centres throughout the world. A major essay by Graham Coulter-Smith, together with complementary essays by Graham Forsyth, Christina Davidson and a selection of John Young's own writings, give us an appropriately multi-faceted study of an artist whose work mirrors some of the complexities and contradictions of contemporary cultural practice, and traverses traditional cultural and geographic boundaries.' - Leon Paroissien
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