Painting anew

Born in 1934 in Brisbane, Elisabeth Cummings is one of Australia’s most respected living artists. She was listed in Australian Art Collector Magazine 2002, as one of Australia’s 50 most collectable artists. Significant prizes to her name include the Fleurieu Art Prize, the Portia Geach Portrait Prize, The Mosman Prize and The Tattersall’s Art Prize. Much sought after, Elisabeth’s works are represented in many private and public collections, including Artbank, The Queensland and Gold Coast City Art Galleries and the Art Gallery of NSW.

Elisabeth has an enviable history, starting from 1953-57 when she attended the National Art School in Sydney. In 1961 she studied with Oskar Kokoschka in Salzburg, and spent 10 years studying and travelling throughout France and Italy. Elisabeth taught at the National Art School in Sydney from 1969-2001 and has been an arts educator at various other institutions from that time until the present day. She is a truly inspirational woman, passionate and dedicated to the journey of art.

Elisabeth assumes a quiet place of wisdom as she intuitively guides each student according to their capacity and personal direction. After spending time with Elisabeth Cummings, artists feel the benefit of having learned under an Australian master with 50 years’ experience teaching and exhibiting. A worthy winner of some of Australia’s most prestigious awards, Elisabeth is respected as being one of Australia’s leading contemporary female artists and colourists. She is a member of the revered Wedderburn art community, NSW, and exhibits with Sydney’s King Street Gallery.

New Paintings is a most beautiful collection of work.

In a way that is the exception rather than the rule among Australian artists, Cummings seems to be getting better as she gets older. There is general agreement that the work she is doing today is the best of her career.

Is she ambitious for her work? Maybe for the work, but not for her career or reputation. “It’s all very well to be ambitious,” she says, “but I’ve still got to do the paintings. All that stuff is so crazy. I don’t need much money anyway, and prices depend on your track record.”

In an era when the demands of painting seem to be at war with those of professionalism, she has remained focused exclusively on the work itself. She likes the idea of painting as a kind of mysterious journey, with its own, unpredictable sense of movement and change.


New Paintings
Elisabeth Cummings
Till December 19, 2015
King Street Gallery on William
177 William Street, Darlinghurst

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