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Every year, modernist Eric Thake would send his friends a hand-made Christmas card. Original linocut prints, these cards have since become canonical, each observing a changing nation through one its most distinct voices. They also speak to Thake’s innerworld, with this particular work coming from the collection of his friend, revered writer and curator Ursula Hoff.
Thake personalised each of these cards, addressing this one ‘Ursula, where’s all your 30,000? Well, you remember those chops we had last night!’. The exchange appears between two farmers, suggesting that the 30,000 were lamb, gobbled in a particularly moreish dinner. To imagine the erudite Ursula Hoff as a straw-stewing farmer, joking about the fate of her flock, is a delightful absurdity.
Represented across numerous public collections, including at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (addressed in that collection to Hal Missingham), this graphic is a museum-quality work. It speaks to Thake’s remarkable vision, Australian modernism and the friendship between an artist and scholar. With strikingly excellent provenance, it is a prize for collectors of modernist art.
Eric THAKE (1904 - 1982)'Ursula, where’s all your 30,000? Well, you remember those chops we had last night!' 1968linocut on paperImage Size: 21 x 15 cm Dimensions: 21 x 30 cm overall sheet size, scored to foldSigned: Signed and dated lower right: Eric Thake 1968; titled lower centre. Inscribed reverse, ink: with Best Wishes / for Xmas and / burr-free dip / in 69 / Eric & GraceComes with Letter of Provenance
Impressions of this work are at the:National Gallery of Australia, accession number: 73.257.29Art Gallery of New South Wales, accession number: DA2.1969National Gallery of Victoria accession number: P138-1974
This work is personalized for each recipient. The National Australia Gallery impression is addressed to Jim; Art Gallery of NSW is to Hal; NGV to Jim; others to Dorothy and Dave. Eric Thake personalized the title of this impression for Ursula.
© The Artist or Assignee
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