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ART AND AUSTRALIA

Selected articles 1920-1950

Margaret Preston
Selected & introduced by Elizabeth Butel
Richmond Imprint, 140pp
ISBN 1920688145
AU$29.95, May 2003

Selected from the pages of Australia’s ‘little magazines’ and established art journals by Elizabeth Butel (author of Margaret Preston, ETT Imprint 2003), this collection addresses Preston’s recurring preoccupations – ‘modern’ art, an Australian national art and the craft of art-making.

Never shy of voicing an opinion, Preston launched into print on a variety of subjects, from flower arranging and furnishing a bedroom, to Aboriginal art and design and its place in the creation of a national art for Australia.

“The natural enemy of the dull,” Preston’s style is infused with paradox, retaining its freshness, through her very direct, uncompromising attack. Absorbing in itself, this collection – published for the first time – invites us to reassess the relevance of her writings, both in her era and today and the impact they had on her own art-making; in the process, proving a context for a renewed appreciation of her work.

With thirty articles and 30 woodcuts, it has been introduced and indexed by Elizabeth Butel in an elegant large-format paperback.