ERICA MCGILCHRIST SELECTED WORKS 1951–1995

Erica McGilchrist
Date: 
23 October 2013 27 April 2014
Location: 
Heide I
Curator/s: 
Linda Short
Admission: 
Free with Museum Pass Admission info

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Erica McGilchrist’s remarkable career as an artist, art educator and activist for women’s art is surveyed in this exhibition drawn primarily from the Heide Collection. Though she is held in high regard by local arts communities, and celebrated both for her contribution to Melbourne modernism in the 1950s and her co-founding of the Women's Art Register in 1975, as yet McGilchrist’s art is not widely known.

Erica McGilchrist, Fern 1990, embroidery cotton and synthetic polymer paint on linen, 34.5 x 28 cm, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Erica McGilchrist 2013, © the artist

The paintings, works on paper and embroideries assembled for this survey reveal an imaginative and insightful artist. From the time of her first exhibition in 1951 until she ceased making art almost five decades later, McGilchrist’s varied practice has been driven by a clear, singular vision: the reconciliation of her inner and outer worlds. The complex relationship between the self and society provides a thematic link across the artist’s distinct series, which invoke more broadly a range of humanitarian, feminist and environmental concerns.

McGilchrist has worked fluidly across different genres and diverse abstract and figurative styles. Formative works, including surrealist-inspired ‘automatic’ images and expressive figure paintings, are shown here with later examples of hard-edge and lyrical abstracts and decorative needlepoints, making evident the artist’s delight in aesthetic exploration throughout her career.