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Art historian Mary Eagle once described Australian modernist Sybil Craig as “devastatingly direct” and “almost overwhelmingly vital”. She was born a tomboy to affluent parents and in 1945, was the third woman ever to be appointed an official war artist, the first to paint women working in the munitions factories. As an official war artist, she produced bright, vivacious scenes of women at work grounded in her pedagogy under the esteemed Bernard Hall and George Bell. At home however, she allowed herself to experiment, creating “exercises” she withheld from sale. These works, of which 'Three Figures' is an example, are instinctive and marvellous. On a fellowship from the State Library of Victoria, playwright Monica Raszewski developed a play about Craig. The work ruminates on the division between public and private – what must be exhibited to the world, and what is privately felt. In this elegant drawing from 1961 this tension lingers. It is demure but bright, daring yet slight.Represented at the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, State Library of Victoria and across regional galleries, Craig is a luminous yet underrated figure of Australian modernism. She will enrich collections of important works on paper and female artists. In this bewitching drawing lies a person and history deserving of our attention.
Sybil CRAIG (1901 - 1989)'Three Figures' 1961Pastel and pencil on paperImage Size: 15 x 12 cm Dimensions: 29 x 23 cm Signed: Signed 'Sybil Craig' lower left; dated and inscribed on versoComes with Letter of ProvenanceImage quality is good, general wear and colour of age on the paper, pastel beginning to seep through the paper.
Condition: Good: Describes the average used work of art, where the image is in good condition. Image quality is good, general wear and colour of age on the paper, pastel beginning to seep through the paper.
Work is mounted and wrapped.
© The Artist or Assignee
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