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The wonderfully wry work of Eric Thake (1904–1982) and his perceptive visual and verbal puns in this popular Christmas card series are featured in this exhibition, alongside artists who tackle issues with a political edge, or use wit and satire to convey a subversive message.
Early in his career Thake developed a disciplined approach to art production that was based on simplicity, precision and design. The commercial art training he received at a Melbourne engraving firm from the age of fourteen established an appreciation for clear, bold design and instilled in Thake a high standard of technical proficiency. Art studies under influential artist and teacher George Bell in 1925–28 further developed Thake’s interest in formal design. Encouraged by Bell to work from drawings instead of directly from nature,
Thake produced simplified compositions that were a personal, rather than descriptive, response to the world. From 1941 to 1975 Thake produced a linocut design each year as a Christmas card to send to family and friends. This exhibition displays the full set of Thake’s Christmas cards held in the university’s collection.
Richard Avedon People celebrates the work of American photographer Richard Avedon (1923 to 2004). With work from 1949 to 2002, the exhibition offers an in-depth overview of Avedon’s achievements in the art of black and white portraiture photography. In the show, instantly recognisable and influential artists, celebrities, and political activists including Truman Capote, Elizabeth Taylor, Twiggy, Malcolm X, and Bob Dylan are presented alongside portraits of the unknown or long forgotten. Coming soon, opening 6 December 2014