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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Enamel ware



Rosalie Gascoigne

New Zealand, Australia

25 Jan 1917 - 23 Oct 1999


Rosalie Gascoigne is a sculptor whose activity has increased and deepened with maturity. Her work, often formed from discarded and overlooked materials, encapsulates the experience of her surroundings. ‘The crop 1’ (AGNSW collection) is a transitional work that demonstrates this tendency and functions as a metaphor for the Australian landscape. It incorporates both natural and man-made materials that carry the imprint of their time in the land.

Gascoigne was not able to sculpt full-time until later in life, indeed her first exhibition was held at the age of 57. Born in New Zealand in 1917, she graduated from Auckland University in 1937 and worked as a teacher until she moved to Australia in 1943, following her marriage to astronomer Ben Gascoigne. They settled at the remote Stromlo Observatory, where Gascoigne’s marriage and family responsibilities slowed, yet also enriched, her eventual artistic blossoming. The solitude of her daily existence let her begin arranging dried flowers and then Japanese ikebana studies, which later evolved into the informal aesthetic arrangements of objects. Her exposure to the Australian environment, which she once described as ‘all air, all light, all space and all understatement’, was crucial to the development of her art. Gascoigne began assembling constructions, drawing inspiration and materials directly from her surrounding environment.

Interest in her work culminated in a highly successful first solo exhibition at Macquarie Galleries, Canberra in 1974. Gascoigne rapidly became recognised as one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists. Within four years a major survey of her work was organised by the National Gallery of Victoria, followed by her representing Australia, with Peter Booth, at the 1982 Venice Biennale.




Media categories

Sculpture , Assemblage

Materials used

enamel kitchen utensils, wood


113.5 x 51.2 x 24.0 cm overall

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner verso, black fibre-tipped pen "R.G. '76".


Purchased 1976


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Rosalie Gascoigne

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Helen Campbell, Look, 'Stuck on you', pg. 16-19, Sydney, Sep 2016, 18, 19 (colour illus.).

Hannah Fink, Gallery A Sydney 1964 - 1983, 'The Life of Things: Rosalie Gascoigne at Gallery A Sydney', pg. 147-163, Campbelltown, 2009, 153 (colour illus.). Colour installation photograph on page 153 of Gascoigne's 'Assemblage' exhibition at Gallery A Sycney, 1976; List of works is reproduced on page 163.

Martin Gascoigne, Rosalie Gascoigne, 'Rosalie's artists', pg. 35-45, Melbourne, 2008, 16, 38, 58 (colour illus.), 134. no catalogue numbers

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 168 (colour illus.).

Robert Lindsay., Survey 2: Rosalie Gascoigne, 'Rosalie Gascoigne', Melbourne, 1978. 13

Barry Pearce, Look, 'Focus on Wastelands: How the idea was born', pg. 16, Sydney, Sep 2005, 19 (colour illus.).

Ursula Prunster, Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (illus.). card no. 16: Rosalie Gascoigne 'Metropolis' 1999