The Peep Show
- Thea Proctor
- The Peep Show
- woodcut on paper
- 21.9 x 20.4 cm
signed lower right: Thea Proctor
inscribed lower left: The Peep Show No 8
monogrammed in block lower right
Editions of this work are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria
© Art Gallery of New South Wales
Editions of this print were exhibited at the following:
Grosvenor Galleries Sydney Nov 1928 no 45
Argonaut Galleries Adelaide Oct 1929 no 58
Art in Australia, December 1928, illus. p. 61
Wentworth Magazine, February 1929, illus. p. 8
Art in Australia, April 1932, illus. p. 22
Deutscher, Minchin, Butler, The Proctor The Prints, Resolution Press, Sydney, 1980, illus. p.63
Thea Proctor is one of Australia’s most important modern artists, her influence (especially in Sydney) spanning the decades from the 1920s to 1960s, through her own art, her teaching and her prominence as a tastemaker, particularly through The Home publication (1920 – 1942). Proctor worked in diverse media from silken fans to portrait pencil drawings to languid watercolours and linear lithographs and woodblocks. Art for Proctor was beautiful, decorative and ubiquitous, from fashion to design to elements of the home.
Her early studies with Julian Ashton (where she met George Lambert, a friendship maintained throughout their lives) awakened the importance of line. Proctor then worked, studied and exhibited in London 1903 – 1921, apart from a trip back to Australia in 1912-14 where she held her first solo exhibitions in Melbourne (1913) and Sydney (1914). In London she met and was influenced by Charles Conder and commenced her series of fan paintings. Other important influences included her exposure to the Ballet Russes and Roger Fry’s 1910-11 exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists.
On return to Australia, during the 1920s and 30s, Proctor continued practicing and teaching, including lithography, and, for a relatively short period in her career, created woodblocks from 1925, with a strong emphasis on line, form, design and colour; premises central to her artistic oeuvre.
Proctor’s woodblocks are synonymous with the construct of modern art, where the “bolder decorative design and colours became bright flat areas bounded by black contours”, although their subject often harks back to visions of the past. Proctor's interest in theatre, dance and fashion is often evoked through her artworks.