Part of the appeal is Valadon’s translation of the pagan into a twenty-first century idiom. In terms of perceptual prism and impact, this earthy sensibility has always been evident in her work, which can be described as beautiful only in its depictions of nature; Valadon’s women are deliberately carnal: slapped around by life, maybe, but still defiant. Her idols are Monet (“for his capture of the light, his obsession with time and how it affected the subject”), Caravaggio (“drama, emotion, beauty, skin”), and, in particular, Anglo-Portuguese artist Paula Rego (“for her stunning, dark, dark drawings of difficult issues – death, sex, relationships”), whose artfully unstudied compositions, textural depictions of flesh, and emotionally dislocated tableaux have clearly influenced her work. Greek and Minoan mythology, too – Valadon traveled to Athens, Crete, and Knossos in 1991 – and the great artists of Italy, where she lived, studied, and painted for a year.
‘Billion Dollar Bodies”
by Antonella Gambotto-Burke
Hill End: Seven Decades, Group Exhibition, Penrith Regional Gallery, 4 March to 21 May 2017
Archibald Travelling Exhibition (Finalist work ‘The Scribbler’) Bega Valley Regional Gallery to 12 May 2017.
Rosemary Valadon is a multi-award winning Australian artist (the Blake Religious Art Prize, Portia Geach Portrait Prize, Muswellbrook Art Prize, amongst others). She is a regular finalist in the Archibald, Sulman, Blake, Portia Geach and Mosman prizes... read more