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An image of Mnemosyne by Rosemary Madigan

Rosemary Madigan

(Australia 05 Dec 1926 – )

Media category
Materials used
bronze with green patina on a slate base

32.0 x 18.0 x 23.5 cm

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. verso, incised "RM 76".
D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2000
Accession number
© Rosemary Madigan
Not on display
Further information

A previous student of the ESTC and The John Cass College London, Madigan has become, over an understated career spanning four decades, arguably Australia's most significant figurative carver. The female torso, the focus of much of her work, has led her to create sculptures which, at their best, have the sensuousness, subtlety and rigour of the greatest of the Indian carvings she admires.

The female torso is represented in the Gallery collection by the jarrah wood 'Torso' (1954), her presentation work for the Travelling Art Scholarship, a sandstone 'Torso' (1986), which won the Wynne prize in (1986/7) and the recently gifted bronzes, 'Torso' (1986) and 'Group of three figures' (1983).

Madigan's bronze head 'Mnemosyne' on the other hand is the most significant portrait the artist has produced. Depicting both her daughter and the classical muse of Memory, it is a particularly impressive work.

Australian Art Department 2000

Bibliography (3)

Deborah Edwards, Look, 'Rosemary Madigan, sculptor', pg. 26-29, Newtown, Feb 2011. Article on the Australian Collection Focus Room

Deborah Edwards, Australian Collection Focus: Torso 1954 and Torso 1986, 'Rosemary Madigan, Sculptor', 2-9., Sydney, 2011, 10 (colour illus.). 2

Deborah Edwards, Presence & absence: portrait sculpture in Australia, Canberra, 2003, 59, 61 (colour illus.), 61, 83. 54

Exhibition history (2)

Rosemary Madigan: a survey show 1949-2000, Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney, Surry Hills, 02 Feb 2001–21 Feb 2001

Presence and absence: portrait sculpture in Australia, National Portrait Gallery [Old Parliament House], Canberra, 22 Aug 2003–16 Nov 2003