This distinctive assemblage of retro-reflective road signs epitomises Rosalie Gascoigne’s poetic use of found objects, particularly those containing text. Cut up into fragments, rearranged and composed in a grid formation, the panels display orderly shapes of text against a bright yellow background with light-reflecting properties and a subtle ability to shimmer and shine.
Salvaged from the roadside or from rural tips and depots, Gascoigne used retro-reflective road sign material throughout her 25-year artistic career, which started when she was 57 years old. During this period she became one of the key figures in twentieth century Australian art.
Through her lyrical reuse of materials once part of the landscape, Gascoigne sought to transform her deeply felt experiences of the harsh rural Monaro district where she lived. Foraging its environs for discarded materials, Gascoigne created idiosyncratic works from an assortment of found objects – old wooden bottle crates, weathered fence palings, corrugated iron, worn linoleum – but her reuse of brightly coloured orange and yellow retro-reflective road signs is her most recognisable signature.
Frequently referred to as visual poetry, Gascoigne’s art employs techniques of fragmentation, repetition and juxtaposition – and while letters in her work are not coherent, language is central to the message and layered meaning. Her reuse of the light reflective material is equally important:
“I don’t want it to be dramatically lit, but I do want it to sometimes flash at you, as road signs do, and then go sullen, then flash, like a living thing” Rosalie Gascoigne, 1988.
Metamorphosis: Still Life into a Landscape is from Olsen’s much loved kitchen series. The aquatic ingredients for a delicious paella float within, above and beyond the pan, loosely joined by an almost calligraphic, dancing line which plays across the gentle golden picture plain. A high horizon hints at the vastness of the Australian landscape in this joyous and gentle picture, a mature work from one of our country’s most celebrated living artists.
signed ‘William Robinson, 2003’ lower right corner
Private collection, Queensland
It has been said that William Robinson has changed the way we perceive the Australian landscape. His vision is a unique one and paintings from the artist’s most popular rainforests series reveal the enduring power of nature from a multi-dimensional perspective. These paintings inspire awe with their multi-perspective views of the lush rainforest canopy and as a viewer one feels swept into, around and throughout the picture.
In 2003 Robinson’s major works were surveyed at the S.H Ervin Gallery in Sydney. The year 2003 was a high point in the artist’s career and the rainforest paintings from this period are widely regarded to be among the artist’s finest works.
stamped lower left with artist's monogram, dated lower right 21 Aug 79
52 x 41.5cm
Acquired directly from the artist; private collection Canada, since 1984;
Menzies, 10/08/2017, Lot No. 32;
Private collection, Sydney
In 1948, at the age of nine, Brett Whiteley was enrolled as a border at The Scots School in Bathurst. It was here that Whiteley gained a deep perception and understanding of the Australian landscape, which he conveys exquisitely in Approaching Storm. Whiteley’s lush, green rolling hills with heavy boulders and sturdy trees are so characteristic of the surrounding countryside. There is an impressive depth to the composition, from the approaching rain and clouds in the background to the valley in the middle-distance and the three-dimensional boulders at the fore. Three-dimensional effects, signature to many of Whiteley’s paintings, are evident in the thick applications of paint in the boulders. Whiteley’s picturesque, verdant valley is imbued with a deep sense of tranquility and solace that he found in his visits to the countryside of Bathurst where he often visited his sister.