Long before the era of digital media, the catalogue raisonné evolved as a virtual art museum to house the oeuvre of a single artist. Such scholarly tomes are known by the French adjective meaning a ‘reasoned’ catalogue, implying a tool for making sense. Thus by assembling each work with precise details on medium, dating, and provenance, an artist’s career can be fully understood and any attribution can be tested.
Mirrors and a dark, brilliant imagination
Bea Maddock: Catalogue Raisonné Volume I 1951–1983
edited by Daniel Thomas
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, $99 hb, 302 pp, 9780977595563
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Ann Stephen is Senior Curator at the University Art Gallery and University Art Collection, The University of Sydney. She has worked for three decades as a curator and art writer within state museums and as a freelance curator. Stephen has written widely on the visual arts, and edited and coordinating many exhibition catalogues and essays on contemporary and Indigenous art. Her recent books include: On Looking at Looking: The Art and Politics of Ian Burn (2006); Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917–1967 (2006), and Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia (2008), both co-edited with Andrew McNamara and Philip Goad.
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