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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.
Just opened! Activate,animate, complicate, grow: what new acquisitions can do to and for the collection showcases 22 artworks recently acquired by the University of Melbourne in dialogue with existing works from the collection. Presented as individual ‘case studies’, the relationships between works demonstrate the ways that new additions breathe life into permanent collections.
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm