Artist of the Week: Elisabeth Cummings

 

Edge of the Simpson Desert
Edge of the Simpson Desert

Boy, oh boy. If there was an exhibition that I would love to see in the flesh it would have to be this one on at the moment at King St Gallery on William St, Sydney. I’ve long admired her work and at the ripe age of 77 she is continuing to explore and push herself and her medium. I love that about painting and art in general in that it has the potential to be a lifelong calling and that you can keep on delving into subjects, playing with techniques and continuing to sharpen skills until the day you die. I can’t think what it must be like for sports-people who’s career essentially ends by their 30s or even less. What do they do afterwards?

The works in this exhibition encompass paintings in oils and, intriguingly, monotypes. I hardly ever see monotypes exhibited in any exhibition nowadays. I think of it as a technique taught in art schools as an introduction to printmaking. But as a serious standalone in a professional artist’s output? For Cummings however it makes absolute sense, working alongside her oils in a unity of purpose and technique (see the one of her exhibited monotypes below). It perfectly suits her way of employing scratchings, scrumblings and astute use of colour, scale and brushstroke to create almost completely abstracted still-lifes and landscapes. Her subject is mostly the day-to-day of her immediate surroundings but far from being banal, she brings to the works an excitement of colour, texture and composition. I love looking at these paintings, even on the internet, which is as close as I’ll get looking at the real thing seeing as this exhibition in Sydney goes from 31 May to 25 June. If you can, go and see it for me please.

Incidentally the oil above sold for $99,000, one of many of the works sold. She isn’t doing too badly!

 

Through the Window
Through the Window

 

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