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Helen Eager colour and light


Helen Eager colour and light

Utopia Art Sydney 24 March - 28 April, 2012

Š Utopia Art Sydney


Helen Eager colour and light Foreword Helen Eager is an artist whose vibrant work spans almost four decades. Eager studied in Adelaide at the South Australian School of Art, with her exhibiting career beginning in 1975 and her first solo exhibition in 1977 at Watters Gallery in Sydney. A Visual Arts Board travel grant in 1980 enabled her to travel through Europe and the USA, working in leading international print workshops and gathering inspiration in major public galleries. Eager completed a masters degree at COFA in the late 1980’s. A residency at the Greene St Studio, New York in 1988 saw a major change in her work. While in New York, the interiors we knew so well began to diminish and her abstract forms took shape. Eager’s work is included in many public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia. Her work is referenced in many books, journals and catalogues. The most significant body of her work is held in the collection of the major international legal firm Allens Arthur Robinson. This exhibition, colour & light, is a comprehensive survey. The works selected are classic examples that document the development of the artist’s career through prints, drawings, digital media and paintings, from her early domestic interiors and objects to the pure abstraction of today. This exhibition coincides with an important commission by the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here on a monumental scale Eager’s wall painting ‘Tango’ will greet visitors as they enter the new MCA. This exhibition defines the path Eager has taken to reach this new dimension in her work. Lynda Eager


Giotto, 1988, oil on canvas, 270 x 170cm


Helen Eager beyond the image Helen Eager’s oeuvre reveals a remarkable artistic journey – from a table, a chair, a sofa before an open window, to an equilateral triangle repeated in chains against white. In moving into and then beyond the image, Eager has reached a geometric simplicity that allows for endless variation and infinite complexity. The spaces Eager has continued to discover are the product of an artist who delights in her task – the simple act of putting pencil to paper, ink to stone or paint to canvas. Rather than rejecting representation or striving towards a purer form of art, Eager’s current abstraction has provided her with a new language through which sensation may be evoked. The viewer of her art is transported into a world where colour and light reign supreme. The subject of Eager’s early work was always her immediate surroundings and the objects they contained – bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, wardrobe, table, chair. Whether in large-scale drawings and paintings or in smaller prints, Eager composed intimate views of spaces occupied but temporarily absent. The viewer was invited into the work, to wander amongst the odd angles and teetering objects of another’s life. These scenes were an inexhaustible subject, as there was always another way of framing a particular view, there were always things moving around, or changing in shifting light, and Eager herself was often moving, from her family home to share houses, and between studios. Even in these early works, we can see interiors that tilt towards abstraction, flirting with the geometric forms to come – the light of a lamp on a table within a dark room cuts angular lines into the surrounding space; a chair in a room’s corner becomes a play of perpendiculars and parallels, the acute and the obtuse. The tessellating surfaces of wall and window, carpet and door were a platform for exploration – of the relationships between colours, of patterns in wallpapers, real and imagined, of forms made solid by the light slanting in from a window or open door. Gradually, compositions became more and more focussed on single objects, or on narrow close up views. As Eager understands it, objects “started getting bigger and bigger, and I focused in to corners where the light shines off a teapot or a piece of furniture... then there was a point where the image dissolved and it became a thing; something in its own right.” Eager’s 1988 stint at the Australia Council studio in New York certainly played a crucial role in this evolution, although in the year preceding this trip Eager had already begun to produce abstracted close-up pictures of teapot tops and cup handles. These works were becoming less and less about the objects and more and more about the shapes that these

by Chloe Watson objects were composed of, and the painterly fields these light-filled surfaces translated into. The space of the New York studio, and the ease with which Eager could access large rolls of good paper, allowed her to expand in scale, at the same time bringing her ever closer to the thing she was representing – to the various views provided by the space around her and the objects it contained. She wanted to give the sensation in her paintings of this close vision she was experiencing as she worked, of things so close that they became nothing but “a series of lines and colour”. In particular, Eager made countless drawings of the window of her Greene Street studio. She became fascinated with the light it emitted, and the effect this had on the objects caught in its frame:

New York does have a different light to Sydney light, even in winter you can have this really bright – but not colourful – intense light. So that’s what I was think ing about there, sort of the white out of it. And when you’re in a darkened room and you look out into something bright, everything looks dark inside… If you’ve got that really intense light behind something you get silhouettes, but then you also get those little licks of colour.

In ‘I Do Not Want To Simplify’ 1990, produced upon Eager’s return to Sydney, the edges of objects seem to be carved in light, highlighted with creamy yellow contours. Against the white light of the window, the jutting corner of a sofa and the curving line of a heater have almost departed from themselves, becoming shadowy form alone. Their surfaces are rendered in richly textured fields of layered oil stick; tangled colours jostle for space. In ‘New York Sunday - Snow’ 1990, the dark maroon form of a lampshade, its edges picked out in a lighter red, reaches out into the almost-white space of the canvas, where the faint traces of the window frame emerge as smudges from a dark under-layer - an image about to dissolve into pure light. It was a simple translation from shadowy forms dividing the space beyond a window, to a picture plane divided into four rectangular forms. Standing before her oil painting ‘N.Y. Series Red/Yellow’ Eager remarks, ‘I look at it and it reminds me of New York, the shape in front of a window.’ Whilst still working through that image, this work presents an imagined space within which the geometric tension of intense red against deep black against caustic yellow evokes the sensation of sight without specifying its location. The richness of the


Helen Eager beyond the image colour is immersive. The lines carry their own narratives. In the language of non-objective abstraction Eager had discovered, the light remains – in the remembrance of that lucidity of form, the animated edges created by light cast from an open window, and in the colours produced by light almost filtering through opaque objects – colours open now to endless variation as the last link to representation was severed. Within this new language, of pure line and pure colour, forms worked themselves through and led to new compositions. Eager’s pictures seemed to follow a self-perpetuating trajectory of formal exploration; planes divided into four rectangles were next divided into three and then into two; surfaces were worked in oils and pastels, print and pencil; vibrant blues were placed against acid greens against muted browns against charcoal greys. Eager says with a smile: “I like to challenge a medium.” She also likes to give every colour, every texture a chance:

continued in a way, at this moment Eager reinvented the angle. At first, Eager placed a single angle on a rectangular canvas, producing a form Eager is careful to insist is not a triangle but an acute angle with sides. Interestingly, this compositional structure is not unlike the narrow view of an opening door in ‘Invited’, a lithograph from 1977. Memories are also conjured of a tea set’s angular corners, or a lamp and the light it emits within a dark room. With single angles all around her studio, Eager decided to bring multiple compositions together in ‘On the Edge – P21’, a work comprising 32 panels of pastel on paper. The relationships between colours and forms across a body of work are now played out within a single composition. Certain colours spring forward whilst others recede, creating an interesting depth of field that is constantly altered as point of view changes.

In Eager’s pastels from this period, surfaces are scrawled and the texture of the paper is picked up in the grain of the medium. Their feel is softer, the edges less severe. In the large scale oil canvas ‘Connections – Litoral’ of 1996, we find the same expressive and painterly technique Eager employed in paintings such as ‘Giotto’ within the angular form of a teapot top. Here, paint has been flung across the canvas using a syringe, the process repeated over multiple layers. Gestural splashes repeated create a tantalizing depth, its effect amplified by the vast scale of the work.

From this point Eager began a series in which two canvases were placed together, resulting in two angles side by side (see ‘On the Edge -12’). The painted edges between colours and the physical edges of the canvas are brought into play. Without close attention to the painting it almost goes unnoticed that there is a physical divide between the two canvases. As a logical progression, Eager’s next series, ‘Precipice’, was enacted on a single canvas, with a hand-drawn edge where the canvas edge had been – no mean feat for an artist who was teased in her earlier career for not being able to draw a straight line. In these compositions, striking and often unconventional colour combinations produce lustrous fields. The edges separating colours are knife thin and exquisitely sharp; the colours seem to vibrate across the lightness of these lines. The smooth surface, as though barely touched by a brush, is in fact the product of multiple layers of carefully applied oil paint, painstakingly made to look flat. Eager suggests, ‘I produce my paintings in a printerly way, where I do a layer over a layer over a layer to get to a result.’ The result is a surface that hums, absorbing light and reflecting it back into the surrounding space enriched. Eager was moving towards a greater clarity and luminosity.

Through constant creation in multiple mediums and in every colour possible, Eager works through a series until she feels she has exhausted its possibilities. Often she begins with countless preliminary drawings, and continues to draw throughout the realisation of a body of work. Through drawing and thinking, the line that divided a field into two rectangles tipped. In ‘Connections – Litoral’ this is already happening. For Eager, “it’s not chance, but you’re working though something and something else presents itself, like a rectangle that’s fallen over.” They say you can’t reinvent the wheel, but

Over the past seven years, Eager has explored compositions using chains of triangles on fields of white, developing a startling dynamism out of the interplay between teetering forms and the unique spaces forged around them. This body of work began with drawings in pastel in 2004 and 2005, which were exhibited as multiple paper panel large-scale compositions. The challenge for Eager was then to translate the drawings onto canvas: “I like the all-overness of the drawing, how the texture is the same all over. And trying to paint the same texture all over a triangle that has little points in it… I was

When I do my paintings I have to do one in red and green and blue and yellow, I can’t leave any alone… You always have those browns and those irky colours – but I use them, I make sure I use them as well. And then you get different relationships between different colours. I just love it, I love using. I love to pick up a red pencil and work out what I’m going to do with it – with an orange or green or yellow or black.


finding it frustrating.” To find a solution, Eager referred back to her printmaking discipline and the technique of ‘pochoir’, where a colour is stamped over a template. In her canvases, the coloured triangles are similarly painted first using a paper template as a guide, and then afterwards the white paint is applied to the ‘background’. Far from being simply ground upon which triangles rest, the white is a potent and active force. This pure white conjures a distinct connection with Eager’s works set before the open window of her New York studio – a lampshade jutting out into almost-white canvas, the corner of a couch before the light of an open window. Now, the canvas is pure light, the forms and their colours strong and lucid. Whilst in earlier manifestations of this schema, Eager used multiple colours in combination, over the past two years monochromatic compositions have achieved a new elegance and simplicity. Here, fine gradations of tone create the impression of delicate nuances of light. As in Eager’s early works, where the viewer was invited to enter each domestic scene, to notice objects just put down, in these compositions, the subtle shifts in colour require an intimate engagement with the surface as its striking simplicity is revealed as incredible complexity. Eager explains: “There are only three colours but if you look at it sometimes you see four colours or five colours because the relationship that happens when you have two colours together makes them change.” In a work such as ‘VIF’, sustained looking results in an orchestral experience; tones coalesce and then reinstate themselves as the eye journeys along meandering chains or jumps the encompassing white crevasses. It is a joyful refrain that requires no interpretation or point of reference, only an open experience of the colour and the light it emits. Eager’s vibrant orange composition of equilateral triangles titled “Tango”, commissioned for the harbour entrance to the new Museum of Contemporary Art, has been planned for its setting amidst blue sky and green grass. Perhaps coming full circle, the portrayer of interiors, of fanciful wall papers tilting at angles against tiled floors and tables, has now produced her own wall. Over 14 metres long wall and in her signature geometric abstraction of angles and softly complex surfaces, it is an invitation to join the dance, to lose oneself for a moment in the experience of looking.

The Art Of Computer Programming, 1977, ed 15, lithograph, 48x33cm

Eager’s long evolution as an artist is by no means over. Always drawing, always thinking, always pushing the boundaries of her practice, Eager will continue to surprise us in the years to come. *All quotations come from interviews with the artist in 2011 & 2012


Invited, 1977, ed 11, relief linocut, 20 x 32.5cm


Chair Beside Itself, 1978, ed 14, lithograph, 45.5 x 33cm


Cool Room, 1977, ed 18, lithograph collage, 36 x 45cm


Handle, 1987-9, ed 20, lithograph, 30 x 23.5cm


Site, 1988, ed 15, relief woodcut, 94 x 64cm


Orange Lamp NY, 1988, oilstick on paper, 124 x 98cm


I Do Not Want To Simplify, 1990, oilstick on paper on canvas, 170 x 200cm


New York Sunday - Snow, 1990, oil on canvas, 61 x 90cm


colour and light installation


colour and light installation


N.Y. Series Red/Yellow, 1991, oil on canvas, 103 x 154.3cm


Connections - Litoral, 1996, oil & acrylic on polyester, 243.5 x 152cm


N.Y. Transfer #4, 1991, lithograph, ed 14, 20 x 23.5cm


Transit Party, 1995, lithograph, ed 12, 23 x 17cm


colour and light installation


Angle Series ‘Gasherbrun’, 1998, oil on canvas, 142.3 x 106.3cm


Angle 3, 1997, ed 10, lithograph, 41 x 31cm


Angle 19, 1998, oil on canvas, 90 x 60cm


On the Edge - P21, 2000, pastel on paper on canvas, 240 x 360cm


On the Edge - 12, 2000, oil on canvas, 80.5 x 121cm


Precipice M5, 2002-3, oil on linen, 80 x 121cm


Precipice #3, ed 17, 2000, lithograph, 13 x 20cm


Directions, 2004, ed 15, inkjet print, 21 x 14.2cm


New Directions installation 2005


New Directions installation 2005


PBR (SM6), 2009, oil on linen, 137 x 91cm


GBR (ME1), 2009, oil on linen, 182 x 122cm


colour and light installation


colour and light installation


VIF, 2009 oil on linen, 200 x 300cm


New Directions installation 2005


Studio February, 2012


Helen Eager Biography

Solo Exhibitions 2012 ‘colour and light’ Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2009 ‘Tripartite’ Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2005 ‘New Directions’, The Depot Gallery, Sydney, NSW 2003 ‘Precipice, New Paintings’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 2000 ‘On the Edge, new work’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1999 ‘Transformed, a survey’ 1990-1999, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW 1998 ‘Angle, new paintings’ Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1996 ‘Connections, new paintings’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1995 ‘Transit new prints and drawings’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1994 ‘Eclipse of the moon new paintings’ Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1992 ‘Searching the Shadows’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1990 ‘From an Old House in America’, large works on paper, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1989 ‘Works on Paper’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1988 ‘Ceremony’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Performance’, Milburn & Arte, Brisbane, QLD 1987 ‘Prints and Drawings Anima Gallery’ Adelaide, SA 1986 ‘Watters Gallery’, Sydney, NSW Michael Milburn Galleries, Brisbane, QLD 1984 Michael Milburn Galleries, Brisbane, QLD ‘Light Charms’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1983-1984 ‘Helen Eager Prints and Drawings’, Orange Regional Gallery and toured N.S.W. Regional Galleries 1983 ‘Out of Time, drawing and prints’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1981 ‘Recent Works on Paper’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Prints and drawings’, Miller Gallery, Perth, WA 1979 Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW 1978 Pinacotheca, Melbourne, VIC 1977 Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW Group Exhibitions 2011 ‘AAA – Australian Abstract Art’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Artist Artists’, Benalla Art Gallery, VIC 2010 ‘KIAF 2010, Korea International Art Fair’

2009 2008 2007 2006

2005 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997

COEX, Seoul, Korea ‘in [two] art’, the Agapitos/Wilson Annual, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW ‘Ascent into Infinity’, Delmar Gallery, NSW ‘Museum III’ Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2010’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC ‘The Catalano Collection’, Art Gallery of Ballarat, VIC ‘pinned & framed’. Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘KIAF 2009, Korea International Art Fair’, Seoul, Korea ‘Australian Abstraction’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2008’, Royal Exhibition Building, VIC ‘Pairs of Paintings’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Sydney Prints; 45 Years of the Sydney Printmakers’, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Liz Coats – time and motion, Helen Eager – plains to mountains, Peter Maloney – electric planchette’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Turning 20’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Sydney Prints; 45 Years of the Sydney Printmakers’, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Robert Jacks Drawing Prize’, Bendigo Art Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Melbourne Art Fair 2006’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VUC ‘Bits and Pieces abstract art’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘from big things little things grow’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW ‘Sydney v Melbourne’, Silvershot, Melbourne, VIC ‘Sydney Art on Paper Fair 2005’, Byron Kennedy Hall, Moore Park, Sydney, NSW ‘Museum II’, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Abstraction Spirit, Light, Pure Form’, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Summer Show’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘The Australian Drawing Biennale’, Drill Hall Canberra, ACT ‘Summer Show’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Silver 25th Anniversary Exhibition’, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Summer Show’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Summer Show’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Rena Ellen Jones Memorial Print Award’,


Helen Eager Biography - continued 1996 1995

1994 1993-94 1993 1992 1991 1990

Warrnambool Art Gallery, VIC ‘Fishers Ghost Art Award’, Campbelltown Art Gallery, NSW ‘Conrad Jupiters Art Prize’, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, QLD ‘13th Biennial Spring Festival of Drawing’, Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery, VIC ‘Sustainability Benefit Exhibition’, Newcastle, NSW ‘The Face Amnesty International Benefit Exhibition’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW ‘Jacaranda Drawing Award’, Grafton, NSW ‘Floressence’, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney and touring Newcastle Region Gallery, Tamworth City Gallery, NSW ‘Chromacryl Paint’, exhibition Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney, NSW ‘Kedumba Drawing Prize Invitation Drawing exhibition’, Leura, NSW ‘Contemporary Australian Abstraction’, Niagara Gallery, Melbourne, VIC ‘Recent small works’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Women at Watters’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Ironside Benefit Exhibition for N.E.R.A.M’, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, NSW ‘In the company of women’ 100 years of Australian Women’s Art from the Cruthers Collection. P.I.C.A. Perth, WA ‘Home and Away Domestic Icons and Daily Life as Art’, Gold Coast City Gallery, Surfers Paradise, QLD ‘The John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC ‘Arangement: Australian still life 1973-1993’, Museum of Modern Art, Heide, Melbourne, VIC ‘Contemporary Australian Paintings: Works from the Allen Allen & Hemsley Collection’, Westpac Gallery, Melbourne, VIC ‘Margaret Stewart Endowment’, National Gallery Victoria, VIC ‘Munu et Mente’, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Prints Galore’, Wollongong City Gallery, NSW ‘Light’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Her Story’, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Interiors’, Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD. ‘Group Show, with Ron Lambert and Vicki Varvaressos’, Watters Gallery, NSW ‘1990 Collection: A Portfolio Of Australian Women Artists’, Macquarie Gallery, NSW ‘Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC ‘Paper Works: Drawings, Watercolours, Pastels & Collages from the Wollongong City Collection’, NSW ‘The Rotary Collection’, Australian National

1989

1988 1987 1986-87 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980

Gallery, Canberra, ACT ‘Winsor & Newton Painting Prize’, Coventry Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Intimate Drawing’, Coventry Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Portrait of a Gallery’, Watters Gallery 25th Anniversary Exhibition, touring 8 regional centres until 1991, NSW ‘Work from the Studios of … with Ian Bettinson, Robert Klippel, Richard Larter, Jon Plapp, & Vicki Varvaressos’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Tamworth Environs’, Tamworth City Gallery and NERAM, Armidale NSW ‘New Art’, Ben Grady Gallery, Canberra, ACT ‘A New Generation’, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, ACT ‘First Australian Contemporary Art Fair’, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC ‘Moet & Chandon Touring Exhibition’, AGWA and State Galleries ‘A New Romance’, Australian National Gallery, ACT ‘Painters’ Prints’, The Mitchelton Print Exhibition, Benalla and Shepparton Art Galleries, VIC ‘NUSTART’, Milburn Gallery, Brisbane, QLD Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Small Works’, Michael Milburn Galleries, Brisbane, QLD ‘In all Directions’, Milburn Gallery, Brisbane, QLD ‘Australian Woodcuts and Linocuts from the Collection’, Art Gallery of New South Wales ‘Works on Paper’, Campbelltown Art Gallery, NSW ‘Drawings’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Australian Perspecta 1983’, Art Gallery of New South Wales and touring, NSW ‘The Printmakers Studio’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW ‘Rooms’, James Harvey Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘New Art, Selections from the Michell Endowment’, National Gallery of Victoria, VIC ‘Some Recent Australian Works on Paper’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW ‘Some Quieter Statements’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Albury Purchase Award’, Albury Regional Arts Centre, Albury, NSW ‘Helen Eager - Pastels, Christine Simons – Acrylics on Paper’, Watters Gallery, Sydney, NSW ‘Printmakers of NSW’, The Gallery, NSW House, London, UK ‘Works from Kirktower House’, Peacock Printmakers Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland. ‘Seventh British International Print Biennale’, Bradford, UK ‘Capital Permanent Award’, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong, VIC ‘Drawn and Quartered’, (Australian Contemporary Paperworks) Art Gallery of South ‘Australia Festival Exhibition’ Adelaide, SA ‘Interiors’, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Helen Eager Biography - continued 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975

Travelling Art Exhibition 1980-1981 ‘Contemporary Australian Drawings and Prints’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW ‘Sixth British International Print Biennale’, Bradford, UK ‘Tokyo Print Biennale’, Japan. Tokyo Art Museum ‘Art In The Making’, Art Gallery of NSW and travelling 1979-1980 ‘Helen Eager, Leone Furber, Bernie Pask’, CAS Gallery, Adelaide, SA ‘Still Life Still Lives’, Glenfiddich exhibition, Opera House, Sydney and travelling ‘Watters at Pinacotheca’, Pinacotheca, Melbourne, VIC ‘NSW Printmakers’, Contemporary Art Society Gallery, Adelaide, SA ‘Outlines of Australian Printmaking’, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat ‘Young Artists Award’, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA ‘Members Exhibition’’, C.A.S. Gallery, Adelaide, SA

Commissions and Other Activities 2012 ‘Tango’ wall painting commissioned for the Circular Quay entrance of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 1993 Redesigned and painted set for the National Capitol Dancers, Canberra for the ballet The Host Print Collaboration: printed and published Papunya Tula artists, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Joseph Jurra & Dinny Campbell and Gloria Petyarre 1992 Imprint journal of the Print Council of Australia. Utopia Art Sydney Publishing Prints by Artists from the Desert 1991 Print Collaboration: printed and published Papunya Tula artists, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Joseph Jurra & Dinny Campbell 1990 Collection: A Portfolio Of Australian Women Artists, Commission Cancer Council of NSW Print Collaboration: printed and published The Utopia Suite: 72 Prints by 72 Artists, Utopia Community, NT 1989 Designed and painted set for the National Capitol Dancers, Canberra for the Ballet The Host 1983 Yulara Resort, Northern Territory, 1983: lithograph, edition of 50. 1982 Print Council of Australia, member’s print. Collections Albury Regional Arts Centre Allens Arthur Robinson Art Gallery of New South Wales Art Gallery of South Australia Artbank Baker & McKenzie Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Broken Hill Art Gallery

Bathurst Region Art Gallery, NSW Burnie Art Gallery, TAS Campbelltown Art Gallery, Caulfield Arts Centre, VIC C.O.F.A. Sydney, NSW Deakin University Library, VIC Fremantle Arts Centre, WA Greenwood High School, WA Griffith University, QLD Hawthorn Institute of Education VIC Holmes a` Court Collection Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School,, QLD LaTrobe Valley Arts Centre, VIC Los Angeles M.O.C.A. Los Angeles, USA Maitland Regional Art Gallery Melbourne University, VIC Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney National Gallery of Australia NE.R.A.M. Armidale, NSW National Gallery of Victoria Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW NSW Parliament House Print Council of Australia, VIC Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, TAS State Bank, NSW Tasmanian CAE Trinity Grammar School Gallery, Sydney, NSW Tasmanian Art Gallery, TAS WESTPAC - New York Warrnambool Art Gallery, VIC Wollongong Art Gallery, NSW Wheelers Hill High School, VIC Wollongong University Art Collection BIBLIOGRAPHY Reference Books Australian artists’ index, compiled by Jan McDonald. Sydney: Arts Libraries Society, Aust. & New Zealand,1986. Artists and galleries of Australia and New Zealand, edited by Max Germaine. Sydney: Lansdowne Editions, 1979. Directory 1988 : Australian artists producing prints. Melbourne: Print Council of Australia, 1989. Directory of Australian printmakers 1982, edited by Lilian Wood. Melbourne: Print Council of Australia, 1982. Germaine, Max. Artists and galleries of Australia. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1984. Roseville, NSW: Craftsman House, 1990. McCulloch, Alan. Encyclopedia of Australian Art. Hawthorn: Hutchinson of Australia, 1984. Who’s who of Australian Women, compiled by Andrea Lofthouse. Sydney: Methuen, 1982. Books Drury, Neville. New art two. Roseville, NSW: Craftsman House, 1988. (Includes photos of 2 works and artist, biography and artist’s statement) McKenzie, Janet. Drawing in Australia: contemporary- images and


Helen Eager Biography - continued

ideas. Sydney; Macmillan, 1986. (Includes photos of 3 works) 1990 collection: a portfolio of Australian women artists. NSW: State Cancer Council, 1990. (Includes photos of work and artist) Outlines of Australian printmaking: prints of Australia from the last third of the 18th century, until the present day. Ballarat: Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, 1976. Journals (Articles) “Artists to watch” Art and Australia. Sydney, 1983. Vol.20 No.3. p 328. (Includes photo) Baker, Russel. “Portrait of the artist” Follow me. Sydney: Follow me Publications, April/May 1987, p 121, 127. (Includes photos of works and artist) Catalano, Gary. “About the house: The domestic scene in Australian art” Art & Australia. Sydney, Ure Smith, 1984. Vol.21 No.l. p 86 Clare, John. “Emanations of the inanimate: Helen Eager’s subtle lithography” Sydney City monthly. Sydney: Australian Consolidated Press, September 1981. p 108. (Includes photos of 2 works and artist) Gallery Guide and Newsletter. Sydney: Australian Commercial Galleries Association, 1984. p 6-8. (Includes photo of work) McPhee, John. “The Rotary collection of art by young Australians” ANG Association News. Canberra: Australian National Gallery, March/April 1987. p 12-15. (Includes photo of work) Morrell, Timothy. “Alien corn” Artlink. South Australia, 1989. Vol.9 No.2. p 58-59 (Includes photo of work) Overton, Sara. “Affordable art: prints” Follow me. Sydney: Follow me Publications, Oct/Nov 1984. p 151, 156-7 (Includes photos of 3 lithographs and artist) Journals (Inclusions) Art almanac. Sydney, September 1986. (Photo and comments) Art and Australia. Sydney, Vol.22 No.5. p 453. (Exhibition commentary) Art Gallery of South Australia monthly news. Adelaide, Vol.l No.10, March 1980. (“Drawn and quartered” information) Australian National Gallery annual report 1977/78. Canberra: ANG, 1979. p 42 (Details of 5 print acquisitions - name, year, type, size) Australian National Gallery annual report 1985/6. Canberra: ANG, 1987. p 102 (Details of acquisition - drawing) Information bulletin, Art Gallery of NSW. Sydney, October, 1979. (“Travelling art exhibition” details) Information bulletin, Art Gallery of NSW. Sydney, June, 1983. (Front cover photos of artist at work) New England Region Art Museum annual report. NSW: Armidale City Council, 1987. (Front cover photo of artist’s work) Peacock printshop newsletter. Aberdeen, Scotland, 1981. (Details of exhibition, photo of work) Vogue Living, April Issue 2010 Look Magazine, April issue 2010 Art Month Sydney 2010 Guide Reviews “Artist works with everyday subjects”. Central Western Daily. Orange, NSW, 1983. (“Prints & drawings” touring exhibition) Borlaise, Nancy. “Art”. Sydney Morning Herald. I0/10/77. (lst show, Watters) Burke, Janine. “Critic choice”. National Times. Weekending 11/11/78. p 58 (Pinocotheca show) Collins, Kate. “Reflections”. Sunday Mail. Qld, 16/2/86. (Milburn show) Pidgeon, W.E. “Art”. Sun Herald. NSW, 18/10/77. (lst show)

Dolan, David. “The arts”. Advertiser. S.A., 24/5/78. p 33 (CAS show) Dolan, David. Advertiser. S.A., 4/3/80. (“Drawn & quartered”) Grishin, Sasha. “A mixture of love & objectivity: Helen Eager prints & drawing”. Canberra Times. ACT, 10/7/84. (Arts Council show) Langer, Gertrude. Courier Mail. Qld, 4/1/84. (Milburn show) Lynn, Elwyn. Weekend Australian. 27/28 September, 1986. p 10. (Watters show) Lynn, Elwyn. Weekend Australian. 6-7 June 1992 “Skeletons of the Human Insect” Lynn, Elwyn .Weekend Australian. 11-12 January 1992 (Summer show Watters Gallery) Lynn, Elwyn. “The fruits of female flair”. Weekend Australian. 23/24 April, 1988. (“Ceremony”, Watters) Lynn, Elwyn, Weekend Australian. 4/5 March 1989. (Works on paper”, Watters) McDonald, John, “Metro”. Sydney Morning Herald. September, 1986. (Listing and brief review for Sept 10-27 show) McGrath, Sandra. “Whisky, & the art of picture buying”. Australian. 1979. (Glenfiddich show at Opera House) McGrath, Sandra. “Art”. Australian. 11/10/77. p 10. (First show, Watters) McGrath, Sandra. “So it’s fruit and vegies all the way”. Weekend Australian. 21/22 March, 1981. (Recent works on paper”, Watters) Mendelssohn, Joanna. “Paintings & drawings by Helen Eager & Virginia Coventry”. Sydney Morning Herald. 12/9/86. p 12. (Watters show) Mendelssohn, Joanna. “The arts”. Bulletin. 14/6/88. p 107. Sohien, Gina. “Billboard”. National Times. May, 1983. p 32. (Exhibition listing & brief review) Sturgeon, Graeme. “Artist’s Artist” The Age (Pinacotheca show) Victoria, 11/11/78. Sweeny, Brian. “Sweeny on Sunday”. Sunday Sun. Qld, 16/2/86. (Milburn show) Woolcock, Phyllis. “Arts”. Courier Mail. Qld, 15/2/86. (Milburn show) Catalogues Australian perspecta 1983: a biennial survey of contemporary Australian art. Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, 1983. (Biography, photo of work) Drawn and quartered: Australian contemporary paperworks Adelaide: Art Gallery of S.A., 1980. (Biography and statement) First Australian contemporary art fair. Melbourne: Commercial Galleries Association, 1988. Hammond, Victoria & Svetlana Karovich. Painters’ prints: The Mitchelton print exhibition. Victoria: Benalla & Shepparton Art Galleries, 1986. (Biography and photo of work) Her story: Images of domestic labour in Australian art. Sydney: S. H. Ervin Gallery, 1991. Interiors, Travelling art exhibition 1980-1981. Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, 1980. Interiors. Tewantin, Qld: Noosa Regional Gallery, 1991. (Artist’s comment) Legge, Geoffrey. Helen Eager. Brisbane: Michael Milburn Galleries, 1984. (Biography, photos of work and artist) Legge, Geoffrey. Moet & Chandon touring exhibition. Australia: State Galleries, 1987. (Biography and photo of work) McPhee, John. A new romance. Canberra: Australian National Gallery, 1987. (Held at University Drill Hall Gallery.) A new generation 1983-1988. Canberra: Australian National Gallery,


Helen Eager Biography - continued

1988. New release show. W.A.: Miller Gallery, 1981. (Biography, comments and photo of work) Portrait of a gallery. Sydney: Watters Gallery, 1989. Print award exhibition. W.A.: Fremantle Art Gallery, 1981. Printmakers of NSW. London: The Gallery, NSW House, 1982. (Biography) Prints from Kirktower House. Aberdeen, Scotland: Peacock Printmakers Gallery, 1981. (Exhibition details and photo of work) Second Australian contemporary art fair. Melbourne: Commercial Galleries Association, 1991. Seventh British international print biennale. Bradford: Cartwright Hall, 1981. Sixth British international print biennale. Bradford: Cartwright Hall, 1979. Slutzkin, Linda. Art in the making; Travelling exhibition 1979-1980. Sydney: Art Gallery o NSW, 1979. (Biography, photos of 5 works, and of the printing steps) Slutzkin, Linda. Helen Eager: Prints and drawings. Orange Regional Gallery, 1983. (Includes 4 photos of work, and artist) Still life still lives; the Glenfiddich exhibition. Sydney: Australian Gallery Directors Council, 1978. (Biography and photo of work) Tamworth Environs. NSW: Tamworth City Gallery, 1988. (Photo of work, and artist, biography and statement) Tokyo print biennale. Japan: Tokyo Art Museum, 1979. Women’s imprint, womens & arts festival. Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, October, 1982. (Project 39) Work from the studios of .....[6 artists]: Watters Gallery Audio/Visual Material Eager. Helen (and Margaret Dodd). Art in the making, the Art Gallery of NSW travelling exhibition. Adelaide: Educational Technology Centre, Education Dept, S.A., 1979. (28 slides, booklet) Arts of NSW Vision & sound exhibition, held Darling Harbour. Chatswood, NSW: The Production Group, 1988. (5 slides of work) Melon, James. Helen Eager. Victorian State Library, 1985, (interview with artist – audio recording) Other “The Host”, (Catalogue) National Capitol Dancers, Canberra, 1989. Artist gave talk at Allen, Allen & Hemsley, Sydney, 1990, about her works in the firm’s collection. 4-page document includes biography, 13 photos of work. Illustration for article on George Johnston & Charmain Clift. Agenda, Sydney Morning Herald, 6/10/86. p11 Other 1993 1992 1991

1990

Print Collaboration: printed and published Papunya Tula artists, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Joseph Jurra & Dinny Campbell and Gloria Petyarreye Imprint journal of the Print Council of Australia. Utopia Art Sydney Publishing Prints by Artists from the Desert Print Collaboration: printed and published Papunya Tula artists, Turkey Tolson , Tjupurrula, Joseph Jurra & Dinny Campbell Print Collaboration: printed and published The Utopia Suite: 72 Prints by 72 Artists, Utopia Community, NT


Studio 2009


Helen Eager colour and light

Utopia Art Sydney 24 March - 28 April, 2012

Utopia Art Sydney 2 Danks Street Waterloo NSW 2017 Telephone: + 61 2 9699 2900 Facsimile: + 61 2 9699 2988 email: utopiaartsydney@ozemail.com.au www.utopiaartsydney.com.au Š Utopia Art Sydney


Utopia Art Sydney 2 Danks Street Waterloo NSW 2017 Telephone: + 61 2 9699 2900 Facsimile: + 61 2 9699 2988 email: utopiaartsydney@ozemail.com.au www.utopiaartsydney.com.au

Helen Eager Colour and Light  

A comprehensive survey of Helen Eager's work

Helen Eager Colour and Light  

A comprehensive survey of Helen Eager's work

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