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
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
Not on display
© Rosemary Madigan
Shown in 2 exhibitions
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
Referenced in 3 publications
Deborah Edwards, Look, 'Rosemary Madigan, sculptor', pg. 26-29, Sydney, 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.). cat.no. 2
Deborah Edwards, Presence & absence: portrait sculpture in Australia, Canberra, 2003, 59, 61 (colour illus.), 61, 83. cat.no. 54