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Criss Canning

The Pursuit of Beauty

David Thomas Criss Canning



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Thames & Hudson
05 November 2020
Criss Canning is one of Australia's best loved and most celebrated still life artists. Inspired by the beauty of nature and the works of advanced European modernists, and with dedication to the absolutes of colour and pictorial composition, she has created paintings that are immediately seductive. One cannot help but be astonished by their beauty and by the level of skill required to achieve their effects.

Among the book's 280 colour images are reproductions of some 218 paintings created between 1980 and 2020 - including her most recent. David Thomas's text elucidates the artist's life story and describes the aesthetic qualities of the paintings from a critical and art historical point of view. The book also contains extensive biographical and bibliographical data and details of all works exhibited in art galleries since 1982.

This comprehensive account of an artist's life and work also focuses on developments in the paintings over the past two years, which herald exciting new aspects of Canning's ongoing 'pursuit of beauty'.
By:   David Thomas
Illustrated by:   Criss Canning
Imprint:   Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 319mm,  Width: 257mm,  Spine: 35mm
Weight:   2.589kg
ISBN:   9781760761677
ISBN 10:   1760761672
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   05 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Criss Canning is one of Australia's finest painters of still life, her enthralment with beauty finding a natural outlet in the imagery of flowers. Extraordinary in their botanical accuracy, they flirt with exactitude, yet embrace the aesthetic rather than the scientific. For Canning's colour-laden brush, science is the handmaiden of art. Her artistic journey from the naturalism of captured moments of feminine enchantment to the boldly minimalist celebrations of colour in her latest works is the subject of this book. As enchanting as any fictional tale of romance is her life at Burnside, in central Victoria, where environment, flowers, lover and art come together as one beautiful whole. David Thomas was born in the Garden City of Ballarat and grew up surrounded by flowers. In later years, as the inaugural director of Carrick Hill in Adelaide, he combined his love of art and flowers in the development of this magnificent bequest to the people of South Australia. In writing on the art of Criss Canning, he has once again indulged in this joint love, exploring the beauty to be found in the creativity of one of Australia's most gifted painters of still life. In addition to books on Rupert Bunny and Andrew Sibley, David Thomas writes widely on Australian art, contributing articles to numerous publications, essays for art auction and exhibition catalogues, as well as entries on Australian artists, colonial to contemporary, for the German international art dictionary, 'Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon'.

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