||The No.1 Artnewspaper reporting from Australia ....presents A Tribute to the Australian artist NORMAN LINDSAY (1879-1969) ...he shocked colonial sensibilities with his erotic works of art and novels. Dogged all his career by controversy Lindsay emerged to become one of the best loved artists in the country.|
||On exhibition now at the
COOKS HILL galleries
67 Bull Street, Newcastle NSW 2300
Elegant gallery in a charming 19th century building.
Widdup opened the Cooks Hill Galleries in 1975 shows Australian art
of the highest calibre ranging from Conrad Martens through to contemporary
masters such as Margaret Olley.
||Norman Lindsay, Self Portrait, 1929
Etching, engraving and stipple 35.4 x 30.4 Edition 55
'Self Portrait' is the graphic depiction of an artist in torment. A hunched Norman, clutching his etching needle, is presented manacled between the male nude satyr and female nude. Around them are massed the creatures of his imagination : demons, satyrs, nudes and the ominous figure of the sword-wielding dwarf.
reproduced with the permission
of Bloomfield Galleries, Sydney Australia
'Self Portrait' is the most revealing of all Norman's etchings and needling the plate was a lengthy process. In a letter to Hetherington Norman discussed the ease with which he wrote compared to the consummate difficulty in etching and specifically referred to 'Self Portrait'.
...I have tried both mediums, and can speak authoritatively on their time factors. I could write the major portion of a novel like Cousin From Fiji in the time it takes to produce an etching like 'Self Portrait'.It was an etching that continued to preoccupy him years after it was published. In a letter to Mary, written in his old age, Norman wrote :
...'Self Portrait' was done during the period you stayed with us at Springwood. It reflects the state of my mind during those years, which I'll swear I kept well under cover from detection by others. You, who probably know me better than others, could affirm that, I think. Anyway, it is definitely autobiographical...Norman had turend fifty in 1929 and the capacity to create had abandoned him. His distress during this phase (which lasted for several years) is portrayed in Self Portrait. It was this etching that brought the criticism of Norman's work which had been steadily growing over the years to a head. In December 1930 'Art in Australia' had published a special Norman Lindsay number, a great honour for any artist. By June 1931, despite the Great Depression, five thousand copies had been sold at 3s 6d. After a member of the public lodged a complaint, however, the police raided the office of 'Art in Australia' and seized all the blocks and remaining copies. A summons was issued against Art in Australia Ltd to answer charges of having been concerned in the issue of an obscene publication.
Norman Lindsay, 'Self-Portrait', 1929 (detail)
showing the artist subjugated by two lascivious figures of a beautiful
nude woman and a satyr - figures that appear constantly throughout his
This and other graphic works by Lindsay are now on exhibition at
COOKS HILL GALLERIES, Newcastle, NSW
Norman Lindsay's beautiful home in the Australian
bush at Springwood,
Blue Mountains NSW is run by the National Trust. It is open to the public
and houses works by the artist.
Lindsay has many passionate fans in Australia and one woman has created a website devoted to the artist, worth a visit.
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