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Deborah Edwards

Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris by by Deborah Edwards, with Denise Mimmocchi, David Thomas and Anne Gérard

November 2010, no. 326

For those who saw the recent Rupert Bunny retrospective in Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide, where there were accompanying lecture programs, an informative audio guide, a lively children’s guide, and frilly knickers and parasols afterwards in the gallery shop, Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris is a fine record of the exhibition. If you missed the show, this book provides a very good ‘virtual tour’, with works grouped both chronologically and thematically, all exhibits reproduced, plus full-page details of the artist’s fin-de-siècle beauties, decorative idylls and poetic mythological subjects. It is also a great deal more.

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If Australian art has sometimes been perceived as wanting in style and opulence, recent art museum exhibitions and monographs examining the art and artists of the Edwardian era tell another story and reveal that there is abundant glamour in Australian art. The Edwardians (2004) and George W. Lambert Retrospective (2007) – both from the National Gallery of Australia – and Bertram Mackennal (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007) have succeeded in presenting Australian art in the grand manner from this most extravagant period.

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Margaret Preston by Deborah Edwards (with Rose Peel et al.) & The Prints of Margaret Preston by Roger Butler

March 2006, no. 279

There is something immensely satisfying about a work so ambitious and comprehensive as Deborah Edwards’s Margaret Preston, published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to accompany its current retrospective on this pre-eminent Australian modernist. From the outset, we are introduced to Preston’s perennial capacity to stimulate not only debate but also downright factionalism. The introductory chapter takes the form of multiple quotes, leaving no doubt that Preston continues to ignite debate over issues surrounding an authentic Australian vision.

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