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This too is heroic



Lindy Lee


1954 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil, wax on canvas
    189.0 x 144.0 x 4.2 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated u.l. verso, black marker "Lindy Lee 1988".

    Purchased 1988
    15th–19th c European art
    Accession number
    © Lindy Lee/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Lindy Lee

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'This too is heroic' appropriates a detail from a painting by the Spanish 16th century painter El Greco. Lee scrapes away the black wax surface of her image to reveal a glowing red figure beneath. Her subject literally arises from the 'matière of her painting. Lee's purpose is to regain the power of the image in the original in an environment that is bombarded by a plethora of banal reproductions. The imagery in Lee's work is in a continual state of emergence and disappearance, of inquiry and challenge, typical of the lack of certainty experienced by many of the artists who came to the fore in the 1980s. As an icon of Western art, the El Greco image represents the history that has formed the artist's vision despite her Chinese origins. Conflating her interest in the work of American abstract painter Ad Reinhardt with this European history, Lee rediscovers the history that was replaced by the original black square of Modernism.

    Art Gallery Handbook, 1994.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Lindy Lee

See all 22 works