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"This book has substance and is a work of real scholarship, one which presents a body of new material and an intelligent reassessment of this artist's oeuvre. It is also a beautifully presented book with a good working scholarly apparatus." --"The Canberra Times"Reseña del editor:
Hilda Rix Nicholas was an accomplished artist who set out to carve a place for herself alongside the most important male painters in Australia between the wars. Hilda Rix Nicholas was an accomplished artist who set out to carve a place for herself alongside the most important male painters in Australia between the wars. She painted several important pictures of women in the bush, and dared to suggest that women had been equal partners in the formation of the nation. Her achievements were impressive: she held several solo exhibitions in Europe and Australia, and in 1926 became an associate of the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. But despite these accomplishments she has been virtually ignored by art historians and her work has often been excluded from and marginalised in the writing of Australian art history. Rix Nicholas's work was hailed in Paris before World War I, and when she returned to Australia the critics were amazed by the power and strength of her painting, which seemed very new and modern. But the artist was not interested in the feminising modernism that was emerging in Australia at that time. Intent on establishing herself as the painter of Australia and describing herself as 'the man for the job,' she turned her attention to the bush and to representation of the national landscape, a realm which had until then been the domain of men like Streeton and Heysen. In doing so she challenged the masculinist framework of Australia's cultural and artistic establishment. The great strength of Rix Nicholas's work and her career lies in her determined quest for equal rights, and in her passionate commitment to Australia at a time when women were excluded from its representation. Refusing to adhere to the prescribed role of a woman painter, as colleagues like Margaret Preston had done, meant that she occupied a difficult and ambivalent position. The challenging nature of her work and her unwillingness to accept a subordinate position within the artistic hierarchy made it virtually impossible for her to achieve the kind of recognition she deserved during her lifetime.
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