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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. Dated 1958, this is a marvellous work. In it, a somewhat sheepish hippopotamus sidles into frame to meet a flock of efficacious birds, one announcing “She’s late today!”. It is a nod to the symbiotic relationship between hippos and birds, who in exchange for hitching a ride, clean the hippo’s back. With warmth and wit, Thake finds relatability across the animal kingdom. Represented across numerous public collections, including at the National Gallery of Australia, ‘She’s late today!’ 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)'She's late today!' 1958linocut on paperImage Size: 15 x 22 cm Dimensions: 15 x 44 cm overall sheet size, scored to foldSigned: Signed, dated, and titled lower right: “She’s late today!” Eric Thake 1958 Inscribed reverse, ink: Ursula: We hope that / things will be managed / better in your kitchen / next Thursday. / Best Wishes / for Xmas 1958 / Eric & GraceComes with Letter of Provenance
Impressions of this work are represented at the:National Gallery of Victoria, accession number: P128-1974National Gallery of Australia, accession number: 73.257.18Art Gallery of New South Wales, accession number: DA49.1967
© The Artist or Assignee
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