Eric Thake 'Mr Picasso! Gentlemen, you won’t find him here' - Collected by Murray

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.

‘Mr Picasso! Gentlemen, you won’t find him here’ is a send-up of the National Gallery of Victoria. In it, a cubist tribal sculpture and Picasso-esque harlequin ask a guard about modern art. It is inspired by the inquiries of overseas visitors to the gallery during the Melbourne Olympics. Like them, Thake was troubled by his country’s biggest gallery eschewing modern art.

Represented across numerous public collections, including , graciously, at the National Gallery of Victoria, ‘Mr Picasso! Gentlemen, you won’t find him here’ 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)
'Mr Picasso! Gentlemen, you won’t find him here' 1956
linocut and letterpress on card
Image Size: 22 x 15 cm
Dimensions: 22 x 29 cm; overall sheet size, scored to fold
Signed: Signed and dated lower right: Eric Thake 1956; bears printed greetings of the festive season and signed ‘Audrey Gibson’ inside the card
Printed beneath signature: Part of an imaginary conversation in the shadow of FREMIETS / Jeanne dArc on the forecourt of the National Gallery of Victoria /Original lino-cut by / ERIC THAKE of Melbourne. Printed reverse sheet inscribed: With / Christmas Greetings / and all Good Wishes / for the Coming Year / from / [Sally Robertson - in blue ink and underlined] / Xmas 1956, Merrow Lodge Hopetoun Road, Toorak

Comes with Letter of Provenance

Commissioned by Colonel Aubrey Gibson, a trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria

Impressions of this work are at the:
Art Gallery of New South Wales, accession number: DA55.1967
National Gallery of Victoria, accession number: 1425-5

An impression of this work is illustrated in Colin Holden The Outsider: A Portrait of Ursula Hoff (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne: 2009), p. 28.

Condition: Excellent

© The Artist or Assignee