Alison Rehfisch's dynamic composition 'Oranges and lemons' portrays a carefully constructed still life using a strict palette. The work depicts a plate, bowl and modernist jug in white and eggshell hues upon a pale tabletop, which fills most of the canvas and flattens the pictorial plane. Scattered fruit, a candleholder and stamped envelopes introduce colour in accordance with the artist's precise tonal scale. Reduced to their essential forms, objects have a geometric quality and are arranged in a diamond shape – leaving the corners of the canvas empty – which accentuates the flatness of the composition.
Rehfisch travelled to London in 1933 where she studied at the Grosvenor School, developing her artistic practice, and commitment to the modernist principles of colour and design. The envelopes depicted in this painting reflect her experience living abroad as an expatriate.
oil on canvas
50.0 x 40.0 cm stretcher; 63.0 x 52.7 x 4.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, grey oil "Rehfisch". Not dated.
Not on display
© Estate of Alison Rehfisch
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Onsight - The Expressive Image, Various venues, 12 May 1987–13 May 1988
The art of Alison Rehfisch, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 20 Apr 2002–26 May 2002
An expanded vision: Mary Turner collection, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 27 Aug 2011–30 Oct 2011
Still life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jul 2013–23 Apr 2014
Referenced in 4 publications
Rachel Power, Alison Rehfisch, Sydney, 2002, 10 (colour illus.), 141. plate no. 4
Ann Proudfoot, An expanded view: the Mary Turner Collection at Orange Regional Gallery, 'An expanded view', pg. 5-23, Orange, 2011, 22 (colour illus.), 121.
Alan Sisley, Central Western Daily, 'An expanded view something to see', n.pag., Orange, 2011, n.pag.. Article relates to the exhibition 'An expanded vision: Mary Turner collection' held at Orange Regional Gallery in 2011.
Jade Williamson, Look, 'Brought to light: still life from the Australian collection', pg. 22-23, Sydney, Sep 2013, 22, 23 (colour illus.).