Clifton Pugh’s landscape paintings of the 50s and 60s are much desired among collectors. A self-professed environmentalist, Pugh’s passion for nature is a dominating theme throughout his career. Cicada, 1963 (Lot 507 ) is typical in subject and style of the period; an all-encompassing composition where the subject/s is illustrated as part of the landscape and the landscape as part of the animal, these are emotive works aided by strong lines and a carefully deliberated approach to colour. As a result Pugh positions the viewer within the landscape and not simply as observers of nature. Our common experience with cicadas is reimagined here – hidden in plain sight yet viscerally sensed through the loud droning calls that is a common sound of an Australian bush summer. Pugh’s cicada is figuratively distinct but camouflaged among the density of the bush.
In a different vein, Elwyn Lynn encourages us to see and experience the landscape through form and texture. Virgina, 1972 (Lot 517 ) painted during his visit to America, will intrigue his dedicated niche market. Compared to early examples Virgina is less textural, yet Lynn still exercises mixed media and symbolism to convey not only the physical landsape but the also the social and political history of Virginia.
An Untitled,1998 (Lot 515 ) piece by Susan Norrie is from a series of paintings during an artist residency program in France and Italy during 1987/1988. A product of her times, Norrie’s works are underpinned by postmodern discourse. Looking at the medium of paint as subject and ideas that subvert the grand narrative of art, Norrie’s works of this period explore the painterly and canonical language of high-art and low-brow popular culture. Exploring methods of representation and the materialism of paint, the current work revisits the elements of beauty in art through the traditional still life genre in art. This painting previously traded in 2006 and once belonged to the collection Vince and Linda McMahon, Massachusetts.