Iconic Australian artist, various media, regarded as a designer and experimenter. Journalist. Was known for her aphorisms, calling herself a Modern Art artist, and an active advocate for developing a distinctly recognisable and truly indigenous Australian art, this was before she became a lover of Aboriginal art, studying and applying those principles in her later work.
Born: 29 april 1875 in Adelaide. Margaret Rose McPherson. Married William George Preston in 1919.
Died: 28 may 1963 in Mosman.
Fiery, feisty redhead. Knew what she wanted and how to get it. A rarity in the then artworld, a woman who promoted herself, successfully. Did well financially. Married only once, for life, to a man who appreciated and encouraged her talents. No children. They travelled the world extensively. Margaret travelled to learn and develop her art, particularly Europe, then New Zealand, Beijing, Korea and Japan.
The book: Margaret Preston by Elizabeth Butel. Only 106 pages. In the Acknowledgments, she states the early edition was printed as the catalogue for the Preston exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1985. Dense with information, but an easy read. The front cover below is Preston’s fairly accurate self-portrait (see the foto of her to compare) painted in 1930.
I’ve been a fan for a long time. Here are just a few images of her art from the book, for review purposes.