Mar­garet Preston

Art Almanac - - Art In Australia -

‘Art never im­proves, only changes’ – Mar­garet Preston.

In the early 20th cen­tury, Mar­garet Preston (1875–1963) pro­duced some of Aus­tralia’s most iconic modern com­po­si­tions of lo­cal land­scapes and na­tive flora. Best known as an ex­plorer of colour and pat­tern, she el­e­vated the sta­tus of the still life genre by treat­ing it as a ‘lab­o­ra­tory table’. Orig­i­nally only ap­pear­ing in the lim­ited edi­tion ‘Re­cent Paint­ings 1929,’ Preston’s 92 apho­risms are pre­sented here in the orig­i­nal de­sign of the first edi­tion along­side ten of her wood­cuts rep­re­sent­ing the lat­ter phase in her ca­reer. This com­pi­la­tion pro­vides a fas­ci­nat­ing glimpse into the mind and out­put of an artist who ex­pressed a unique vi­sion of Aus­tralia’s nat­u­ral world through the lan­guage of ge­om­e­try, mo­tif and pat­tern.

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