A biography of margaret preston one of australias greatest artists

In one of her hand-coloured woodcuts of a Western Australian banksia from was commemorated on an Australia Day postage stamp.

A biography of margaret preston one of australias greatest artists

In she took pottery class in London and in again studied in London at a decoration school.


Throughout her life she travelled extensively first going to Europe in and then throughout Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Pacific Islands. Accordingly, her are reflects the influences of these cultural experiences. There are elements of Japanese and Chinese principles of design, primitivism, and foremostly, European modernism, which she explored during her travels and instruction in Paris, Munich and London, liberally incorporated in her work.

During the interwar period Preston was increasingly influenced by Australian indigenous art, believing that it was only through Aboriginal visual culture that we would be able to create a truly national artistic identity.

It is noteworthy that Preston was essentially the first artist to recognise the importance of the Australian Indigenous aesthetic, employing flattened planes, strong forms and eliminating highlights in her works. She adopted Aboriginal motifs and mixed these with more Western style imagery, often presenting aerial views as well as side views of an animal set in a slightly flattened landscape.

These works use a more restrictive palette. She brought this economical, graphic analysis of form into the domestic sphere, validating the domestic sphere through modernist execution. Preston was to played a significant role in the formulation of Australian modernism, working not only as a painter, and wood and lino cut printer, but also as an influential teacher of both practical and theoretical art.

She was an acclaimed figure within the Sydney art scene from the s onwards, and significantly, only she and Thea Proctor were the only women to be featured in Sydney Ure Smith's Art in Australia magazine, during the first half of the twentieth century.

She is renown for her richly coloured still-lifes adorned with native flowers, birds which delighted her buyers and bold landscapes which are marked by a particularly decorative exploration of design. Her work is bold, vigorous and often inventive.

Although she claimed 'In my flower pieces it is the form that I wish to emphasise, and I use only the simplest of earth colours, so that the mind will see before the eye', 1 to the viewer many of these works come across as highly colourful and bright.

In the bush landscapes, Preston has reduced her palette. I am trying to simplify my colour to my form Australia is a country that gives the impression of size and neutral colour.

To give this impression I find it necessary to eliminate 'dancing' colour and heap my light and shadows In my effort to give a feeling of sharp flatness I force my compositions with as much solid light as possible.

I am trying to suggest size and to do this I am eliminating distracting detail'.

A biography of margaret preston one of australias greatest artists

Australian Art and Society:One of Australia’s most significant artists, Margaret Preston was a key figure in the development of modern art in Sydney from the s to the s. He clearly admired Preston’s paintings and lent three from his fine collection (including Native Flowers and Australian Wild Flowers) to the Margaret Preston and William Dobell Loan Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in and kept this group now on offer until his death.

In Margaret Preston painted Aboriginal Flowers and exhibited it in the annual exhibition of the Society of Artists of NSW. The following year it was purchased by a leading Sydney patron of the arts, Charles Lloyd Jones, for £ – a record price for her work at the time. "Margaret Preston 'Old Banksia tree' woodblock print National Gallery of Australia" I have prints by Margaret Preston on my Art on Paper board and I thought this one .

Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, who has died aged 47, was one of a talented group of Irish historians who opened up new fields of research in Irish social history, in her case that of women working in. Margaret Preston Margaret Preston was the leading modernist artist in Australia.

She was born on 29 April in Port Adelaide, Sou. Margaret Preston, Aboriginal design, with Sturt's Pea, , Colour masonite cut, hand coloured in gouache on buff woven paper.

Margaret Preston | Revolvy