A Shady Spot
- Clarice Beckett
- A Shady Spot
- oil on canvas laid on board
- 39 x 54.5 cm
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Rosalind Humphries Galleries, Melbourne
private collection, New Zealand
Homage to Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 Idylls of Melbourne and Beaumaris, 30 Oct - 20 Nov 1971, Rosalind Humphries Galleries, Armadale, Melbourne, cat. no. 37
Hollinrake, R., Forthcoming volume to include A Shady Spot
A Shady Spot is a classic Beckett painting that possess all the hallmarks of this innovative artist. As the erudite curator and art historian Ted Gott intuitively wrote:
we do not simply ‘view’ a Clarice Beckett painting - it being impossible for anyone with even the merest skerrick of poetry in their soul to remain a passive viewer before her work. Instead we ‘experience’ Beckett, and bring to the inviting seductiveness of her paintings our own brace of memories, life experiences, (particularly as Melburnians) and emotional resonances.¹
A Shady Spot reveals an assured and technically brilliant artist who has achieved a perfect unity between the surface of the canvas and the scene through a finely balanced and controlled composition. The charming and nostalgic mood is enhanced through the directness of the impressionistic brushstrokes.
The painting is brimful with sensations – the breath of hazy sea air and an intense awareness of the ‘moment’ and strong sense of place. Although the eye is drawn to the sandy path and distant sea, we keep returning to the alluring modern presence of the car parked in the shade.
Beckett’s passion for motorcars was well known, becoming one of her favoured motifs. This painting is a rarity, one of only a very few remaining in a private collection that features a larger scale, single car.
¹. Gott, Ted, Clarice Beckett 1887- 1935, (Exhibition Catalogue foreword), Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, 29th February - 1st April 2000 Ted Gott is the Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria.