Iconoclasts

Bonzo and NamatjiraAlbert Namatjira Mt. Giles print, Miniature Framing Company, 1950s, made in Australia
Bonzo napkin ring, 1920s, made in Japan

An unusual pairing- I know. But these two pieces are quite iconoclastic in their own way.

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since- and this early napkin ring is now highly sought after.

Albert Namatjira [1902-1959] was born near Alice Springs, and died aged only 57, at Alice Springs. Namatjira was a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous art: his watercolours of outback desert landscapes departed from the highly symbolic style of traditional Aboriginal art incorporating incredibly vivid colours in an overtly ‘Western’ style.

Both Bonzo and Namatjira have been in and out of fashion and are both back IN again in a huge way. So much so that my landscape drawing studio is full of framed Namatjira prints and I am always on the hunt for any more Bonzo pieces.

Iconoclasts

Bonzo and NamatjiraAlbert Namatjira Mt. Giles print, Miniature Framing Company, 1950s, made in Australia
Bonzo napkin ring, 1920s, made in Japan

An unusual pairing- I know. But these two pieces are quite iconoclastic in their own way.

Bonzo the dog was the first cartoon character created in England, by George Studdy in 1922. Bonzo has been reproduced in a myriad ways since- and this early napkin ring is now highly sought after.

Albert Namatjira [1902-1959] was born near Alice Springs, and died aged only 57, at Alice Springs. Namatjira was a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous art: his watercolours of outback desert landscapes departed from the highly symbolic style of traditional Aboriginal art incorporating incredibly vivid colours in an overtly ‘Western’ style.

Both Bonzo and Namatjira have been in and out of fashion and are both back IN again in a huge way. So much so that my landscape drawing studio is full of framed Namatjira prints and I am always on the hunt for any more Bonzo pieces.

50s Australiana

Namatjira printDown The Valley Towards Alice Springs, N.T.
Albert Namatjira print, Lennox Gallery, c.1950s

Albert Namatjira- a famous Indigenous painter- painted the work from which this print is taken in 1951. The print [“The surface hereof has been protected with a special transparent lacquer and may be cleaned with a damp sponge”] was made and framed by Lennox Gallery at some later date. [Presumably by someone with no regard for art but who liked clean surfaces.]

Albert Namatjira [1902-1959] was born near Alice Springs, and died aged only 57, at Alice Springs. Namatjira was a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art; his watercolours of outback desert landscapes departed from the highly symbolic style of traditional Aboriginal art whilst playing with incredibly vivid colours in an overtly ‘Western’ style.

In the 50s, even white Australia could hang a Namatjira print. He captured the 50s zeitgeist.

As a landscape architect [of certain nostalgic leanings] my drawing office is full of framed Namatjira prints. But nothing prepared me for the reality of seeing a whole room of original Namatjira paintings at the National Gallery of Australia. ABSOLUTELY incredibly vivid and totally over the top. Forget zeitgeist, the artist was a complete genius.

This ready-to-hang [sponge-proof] print is for sale: $AUD85

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