(Australia 08 Jun 1904–03 Nov 1982)
41.9 x 52.0cm stretcher; 51.8 x 61.0 x 4.0cm frame
A prolific printmaker, known for his ingenious linocuts, Eric Thake considered his rarer oils and watercolours of greater significance. Thake studied at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School and later with George Bell, whose interest in formal design and abstraction through pictorial organisation, as well as the theory of dynamic symmetry, influenced the young artist.
By the late 1930s, Thake’s work revealed an awareness of the metaphysical experiments of Giorgio de Chirico and the English surrealists, Edward Wadsworth and Paul Nash. 'Archaeopteryx' is a superb example of Thake’s meticulous and witty paintings, its directness derived from his experience as a graphic artist and medical illustrator. The inspiration for 'Archaeopteryx' was a book by Willy Ley in which Australia is described as a world’s-end warehouse of nature’s experiments: the lizard-like head and feathered body of the flying machine evokes the prehistoric creature of the title.
Helen Verity Hewitt (Australia) (Author), Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, Carlton, 2002, 115.
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, 2000, 164, 165 (colour illus.), 302.
Elizabeth Lawson (Author), Birds, Canberra, 1999, 11.
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 148 (colour illus.).
Christopher Chapman (Author), Surrealism in Australia, Canberra, 1993, 51 (colour illus.).
National Gallery of Australia (Australia, estab. 1982) (Editor), Surrealism: Revolution by night, Canberra, 1993, 265 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian Artists, Australian Birds, North Ryde, 1989, 108 (colour illus.). plate no. 89
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 26.
Christine Dixon (Author), Dinah Dysart (Australia) (Author), Counterclaims: presenting Australian art 1938-1941, Sydney, 1986, 54. cat.no. CAS61
Mary Eagle (Australia, b.1944) (Author), Jan Minchin (Author), The George Bell School: Students - Friends - Influences, Melbourne, 1981, 28-29.
Patrick White (England; Australia, b.1912, d.1990) (Author), Patrick White's Choice, Sydney, Dec 1981, illus.. cat.no. 7
Dr Ursula Hoff (England; Australia, b.1909, d.2005) (Author), Eric Thake: a retrospective exhibition, Melbourne, 1970, not paginated. cat.no. 15; lent by The Art Gallery of New South Wales
1964 Acquisitions 1964, 1964, 24-25. cat.no. 27
'Paintings recently exhibited by Australian artists'., Art in Australia [series 4, no. 4] Dec 1941-Feb 1942, Dec 1941-Feb 1942, 63 (illus.).
Contemporary Art Society Exhibition 1941, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, 09 Sep 1941–04 Oct 1941.
Contemporary Art Society Exhibition 1941, Hotel Australia, 14 Oct 1941–Nov 1941.
Patrick White's Choice, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 22 Dec 1981–31 Jan 1982.
Australian Academy of Art and the Contemporary Art Society (1986), S.H. Ervin Gallery, 15 May 1986–16 Jul 1986.
Surrealism: Revolution by Night, National Gallery of Australia, 13 Mar 1993–02 May 1993.
Surrealism: Revolution by Night, Queensland Art Gallery, 21 May 1993–11 Jul 1993.
Surrealism: Revolution by Night, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 30 Jul 1993–19 Sep 1993.
A Bird in the Hand, National Library of Australia, 01 Mar 1999–30 Jun 1999.