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Marco Livingstone

(b Melbourne, May 5, 1951; d Melbourne, July 22, 1999).

Australian painter. While studying painting at Prahran College, Melbourne, from 1969 to 1971, he discovered airbrushes, technical tools employed by commercial artists which he adopted with alacrity as his favoured instrument for picture-making. At art school Arkley met the collage artist and painter Elizabeth Gower, who had a significant influence over his work. They married in 1973, later separating in 1980. In 1977 he travelled to Paris and New York on residencies, and it was during this time that he became fascinated by architectural motifs as inspirations for painting. In Paris he assiduously photographed Art Nouveau and Art Deco doorways in black and white, intending to use these images as reference points for paintings on his return to Australia. Once back there, however, he decided that he needed to find imagery and subject-matter relevant to his own identity as an Australian. While ringing the doorbell of his mother’s house in suburban Melbourne, he noticed the flywire screen door and realized at once that this indigenous architectural feature, banal and disregarded, would be a much more suitable subject than the artistic doorways of Paris. Following this revelation, he made a succession of identically sized paintings in an elongated vertical format corresponding to these flywire screens, but betraying an astonishing variety of motifs and colour schemes. ...


Melissa Harpley

(b Fremantle, 1913; d Perth, June 2, 2004).

Australian painter and designer. Raised in a family with artistic leanings, Francis studied under J. W. R. Lindon (1869–1947) and A. B. Webb at Perth Technical College. Upon graduation she was employed as a commercial artist, later teaching at both Perth and Fremantle Technical Colleges. During World War II Francis translated aerial photographs into topographical maps for the army and also played the cello in orchestras to entertain the troops.

This diverse activity is reflected in her art (e.g. Self-portrait, c. 1940; Perth, A.G. W. Australia). She was a fearless experimenter with technique and medium, subject-matter and modes of representation. Examples include fan, mural and bookplate designs, oil and watercolours, ceramics, enamelwork and works carved into, and painted on, linoleum. Her mostly representational watercolours reflect her early 20th-century training, but her clear graphic style was strengthened by her work as a commercial artist, as well as her ongoing experiments with the language of modernism. In all media she freely used subjects to hand as raw material for her artistic exploration of the world and her life and she showed a particular interest in the symbolic life of objects. Francis was also a member of the Perth Society of Artists and the Studio Club, a group for women painters....


Paula Furby

(b Sept 28, 1884; d Adelaide, Oct 22, 1972).

Australian painter, printmaker and commercial artist. Henty studied in Adelaide at the School of Design, Painting and Technical Arts with H. P Gill (1855–1916) and Archibald Collins (1853–1922) and at the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts taking life classes with Marie Tuck (1866–1947). Henty exhibited with the Australian Academy of Art, the New South Wales Watercolour Institute, the Contemporary Art Society (CAS), Group 9 and the Royal South Australian Society of Arts (RSASA).

Henty is a relatively unacknowledged Adelaide modernist, who chafed under the conservatism of its art world. As a young woman she worked full-time as a ticket-writer and designer. She was a member of Archibald Collins’ Adelaide Drawing and Sketch Club in the 1920s and contributed line drawings to its magazine The High Light. Around 1924, after the club closed, Henty went to Sydney, again working as a commercial artist, but hoping for artistic inspiration from Sydney exhibitions. However, inspiration came in ...


Robert Cook

(b Perth, Nov 20, 1906; d Sydney, April 16, 1985).

Australian painting and commercial artist. McClintock’s career in applied arts began when he took up a process-engraving apprenticeship. Subsequently working as a sign-writer and commercial artist, he also studied at the National Gallery School (NGS), Melbourne from 1925–7 under W. B. McInnes and Bernard Hall (1859–1935). Following this, he moved to Sydney to work as a commercial artist at the Sydney Morning Herald. Returning to Melbourne in 1929, he re-enrolled at the NGS and joined Noel Counihan and Nutter Buzzacott’s social realist circle. After marrying in 1933, McClintock relocated to Perth in 1934 where he took up the position as head of commercial art advertising at the Daily News. In Perth he began exhibiting Surrealist paintings under the pseudonym of Max Ebert. Often mixing morphed or severed human forms with elements of the local landscape, he was the only artist working in such an advanced style at the time and was a lively figure in the Perth art scene gaining much attention in the press. McClintock left Perth in ...


Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Melbourne, Feb 9, 1929; d New York, April 19, 2005).

Australian sculptor and designer, active in the USA. He studied aeronautical engineering and later industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but left without finishing the course. From 1949 to 1953 he worked as an industrial designer, specializing in furniture. Marketed widely in Australia during these years, his furniture was distinguished by its simplicity. It was constructed with plain, undisguised materials such as steel rods, timber laminates, and cord; his tables, chairs, and shelving systems exercised a delight in linear and open structure that conveyed an impression of virtual weightlessness.

In his free time Meadmore began to produce sculptures, carving wooden shapes whose forms were similar to those of tensioned strings, and from 1950 to 1953 experimenting with mobiles. After extensive travel in 1953 in Europe, where he was particularly impressed by modern sculptures that he saw in Belgium, he produced his first large abstract sculptures in welded steel. Some of these, for example ...


Gordon Campbell

(Day Pearce)

(b Mt Eden, Auckland, July 5, 1892; d May 16, 1981).

New Zealand architect and industrial designer, active in England. He was primarily an architect, but his reputation is centred on his industrial design of the 1930s. The economic collapse of 1929 forced Murray to abandon architecture and seek employment as an industrial designer. Initially he designed glass, driven by the belief that traditional English glass was excessively cut. He sold his designs to Stevens & Williams, who subsequently employed him as a freelance designer for about two months a year from 1932–9; each year during this two-month period he developed c. 150 new designs. In 1932 he began to design tableware for Wedgwood; in 1933 he showed 124 new Wedgwood shapes at John Lewis, Oxford Street, London; some of these designs were still in production in the 1950s. In 1934 he also made silver designs for Mappin and Webb. In the late 1930s Murray stopped designing and returned to architecture; his first commission was the new Wedgwood factory at Barlaston, near Stoke-on-Trent....


Barry Pearce


(b Sydney, Feb 4, 1904; d Sydney, Oct 9, 1984).

Australian painter. He grew up in Sydney and c. 1918 began attending evening classes in painting at the Sydney Art School, where he continued to study until 1933. During the day he worked as a commercial artist. In 1933 he left for England and worked in London at Lintas, a commercial art firm. He stayed there for 17 years, during which time he studied at the Westminster School under Bernard Meninsky (1891–1950) and Mark Gertler; at Lintas he established a close friendship with Keith Vaughan. Above all he became absorbed in the life and work of Paul Cézanne, which influenced both his style and his increasing secretiveness about his paintings. Thus when he returned to Sydney in 1951 to teach at the Julian Ashton School, and later at the National Art School, his enigmatic personality held a fascination for his students who were never allowed to see him at work....