Margaret Preston



ISBN: 9780500500682 Category:

Deborah Edwards


Bearing ‘the conspicuous mark of talent’ from an early age, the fiercely independent and opinionated Margaret Preston is one of Australia’s most innovative early modernists. Even in her earliest works, her restless experimentation, ambitions and independence of thought governed a desire to interpret rather than emulate what she saw, to exact essential principles.

From the 1920s Preston moved rapidly to the forefront of Australian progressive art, producing a body of work that has remained crucially important to the traditions of Australian art. Her search for the essential truths of the Australian conditions as the basis for an authentic, modern, national art consumed her working life.

An artist of unlimited invention, Margaret Preston split her contemporaries into a number of camps, and her work has since engendered a multiplicity of opinions from critics, art historians, Indigenous writers and anthropologists. In this revised edition of the Preston monograph, featuring a new introduction, curator Deborah Edwards looks in detail at the life and art of this extraordinary artist from the mid-1890s in Adelaide to her life in Sydney in 1963. Also featuring a CD-ROM catalogue raisonne of paintings, monotypes and ceramics, this richly-illustrated monograph is unrivalled in its scope.

Additional information

Weight 1974 g
Dimensions 25.7 x 29.2 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 1 March 2016
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Dimensions 25.7 x 29.2 cm
Weight 1974 g


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Deborah Edwards worked as a curator at the Queensland Art Gallery and tutor at Sydney University before joining the staff of the Art Gallery of NSW. In 1992 she was made curator of Australian art and was promoted to senior curator in 2005. She specialises in 20th-century art, with a strong interest in Australian sculpture. She has lectured and published widely and is the author of monographs on artists including Robert Klippel, Margaret Preston, Rayner Hoff, Lyndon Dadswell, Bertram Mackennal and Godfrey Miller.