Lesley Dumbrell: Thrum


This book is not yet published, but will be available from July 2024.

ISBN: 9781741741704 Category:


Lesley Dumbrell (b1941) is one of Australia’s most remarkable abstract artists. A stalwart of the women’s art movement in the 1970s, Dumbrell is known for her sophisticated and lyrical abstract paintings and works on paper. Highly ordered and exactly rendered, her immersive and compelling work transports the viewer into worlds of vibrant rhythm, colour and sensation.

As a young woman, Dumbrell was inspired by the writings of Wassily Kandinsky and the work of Bridget Riley, whose paintings conveyed the power of abstract art to express memory and emotion, natural phenomena and human experience. Dumbrell’s remarkable facility with colour and grasp of the organising power of the grid remain at the heart of her distinctive and exploratory abstraction, sustained over five decades of practice in Melbourne, the Strathbogie Ranges of northern Victoria, and Bangkok, Thailand.

Publishing on the occasion of a major retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, this book showcases the evolution of Dumbrell’s artistic language, tracing the various phases and themes that have defined her creative trajectory.

Richly illustrated with over 120 works, and accompanied by insightful essays by exhibition curator Anne Ryan, art historians Terence Maloon and Juliette Peers, artist Consuelo Cavaniglia, and an interview with
the artist herself.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 21.4 x 27 cm
Publisher name Art Gallery of New South Wales
Publication date 1 July 2024
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Anne Ryan, Text by Anne Ryan, Terence Maloon, Juliette Peers, and Consuelo Cavaniglia, Contributions by Scott Elliot
Dimensions 21.4 x 27 cm
Weight 300 g


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Anne Ryan is curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and curator of this exhibition.

Terence Maloon is an art historian , curator and former director of the Drill Hall Gallery, ANU. He has a particular expertise in abstraction and Australian art, and has exhibited the work of Lesley Dumbrell.

Juliette Peers is a Melbourne art historian, writer and curator who has written extensively about the women's art movement in Melbourne in the 1970s.

Consuelo Cavaniglia is a Sydney-based artist, writer and curator. Her experimental, studio-based practice focuses on our understanding and experience of space through the selection and application of lines, shadows, planes of colour and reflective surfaces.

Scott Elliot is assistant curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.