Donated by the artist to the Capital Arts Patron Organisation fundraising auction, Canberra, circa 1998
Private collection, Sydney
Christies Contemporary, auction, Melbourne, 25 June 2002, lot. 159
Private collection, Melbourne
A beautiful work by Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne, imparting at once the tactile physicality of the artist's hands - and equally the perfect frisson of exacting composition: the artist's scrupulous eye.
Quite astonishing on its small scale, this wall piece recalls Daniel Thomas' remembrances 'For Gascoigne the word ''classical'' was almost as talismanic as ''presence''.' (Daniel Thomas, Victoria University Press 2004)
Here she reads the nuances of found shades, tapping into the residual vitality of her material and as with a painter's economy of gesture she assembles. The pallor of this piece is elegant as it is eloquent, in the poetry of the commonplace.
Repetition and use of the grid, standard characters in much Modernist art since the 1960s, are here put to work but given added intensity by Gascoigne's editing process, which invokes the passing of time as an important agency. Her acts of editing and assemblage have, in this work, taken numbers, words and grammatical effects, and smashed them from their syntax as if they were concrete poetic materials. As the City Gallery of Wellington catalogue rightly draws reference, Gascoigne finds kin in the writing of Ezra Pound 'The poem is not language... the translator should convey the energized pattern and let go the words.' (Hugh Kenner, 'The Pound Era', London: Faber & Faber, 1982, p. 150.)
As ever this configuration invites contemplation of the most humble of found materials, which speak of a long line of human experience. It belies the artistic sense of necessity, to create of what Gascoigne responded to daily in the Monaro region near Canberra. 'My art must come out of that.' (Rosalie Gascoigne, 1990)
Image courtesy of the artist's estate and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery