Margaret Preston (1875-1963) is one of Australia's most celebrated modernists. Preston's most important decades were the 1920s and thirties, when she created exuberant decorative compositions which have remained amongst the most popular of all Australian artworks. Modern, cosmopolitan and intensely coloured, Preston's woodblock prints and paintings of still-life subjects and the Sydney metropolis particularised a moment of extraordinary innovation in the history of Australian art. Not only a crucial modernist, Preston was the country's first serious advocate of Aboriginal art: her early appropriation, and promotion, of Aboriginal imagery to the cause of modernism has contributed to her ongoing significance.
This comprehensive exhibition, organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, will be accompanied by a substantial, fully illustrated monograph and, for the first time, a catalogue raisonné of Preston's paintings, monotypes and ceramics (on CD-ROM). Preston is known to have produced over 450 paintings. The illustrated catalogue raisonné of these works and exhibition monograph will be an invaluable resource for collectors, students and the public.
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