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Title

Archaeopteryx

1941


Artist

Eric Thake

Australia

08 Jun 1904 - 03 Nov 1982


About

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.


Details


Place where the work was made

East Kew Melbourne Victoria Australia


Date

1941


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas


Dimensions

41.9 x 52.0 cm stretcher; 51.8 x 61.0 x 4.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed and dated c.l., white oil "Eric Thake '41".


Credit

Purchased 1964


Accession number

OA6.1964


Artist information

Eric Thake

Works in the collection

128


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 14 publications

Bibliography


Australian artists'., Art in Australia [series 4, no. 4], 'Paintings recently exhibited, Sydney, Dec 1941-Feb 1942, 63 (illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 148 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 26.

Natalie Wilson, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Out of Melbourne: realisms and mythologies', pg. 163-164, Sydney, 2000, 164, 165 (colour illus.), 302.

Surrealism in Australia, Canberra, 1993, 51 (colour illus.).

Surrealism: Revolution by night, Canberra, 1993, 265 (colour illus.).

Unknown, Australian Artists, Australian Birds, North Ryde, 1989, 108 (colour illus.). plate no. 89

Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, 'Patrick White's choice', pg. 114-119, Carlton, 2002, 115.

Birds, Canberra, 1999, 11.

The George Bell School: Students - Friends - Influences, Melbourne, 1981, 28-29.

Patrick White's Choice, Sydney, Dec 1981, illus.. cat.no. 7

Eric Thake: a retrospective exhibition, Melbourne, 1970, not paginated. cat.no. 15; lent by The Art Gallery of New South Wales

1964 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1964, 24-25. cat.no. 27

Counterclaims: presenting Australian art 1938-1941, Sydney, 1986, 54. cat.no. CAS61