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Nannette Basser, Summer LandscapeTitle
Summer Landscape

In storage

Place of origin
New South Wales, Australia


Mixed media

Winner Calleen Award 1992

Accession number

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Summer Landscape, Nancy Basser’s winning work in the 1992 Prize was one of 22 exhibited works, again mostly landscapes and oils. There is some information available on the artist including that she lived in East Lindfield, Sydney, when she entered the Calleen Prize. We know that in 1988 she won the Warringah Art Award and in 1990 was a finalist in the prestigious Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with her painting Across the Dividing Range. Basser also practised as a book illustrator.

Summer Landscape is a bright and energetic picture. The landscape is broken down into a series of almost abstract areas that intersect and collide with one another in an active and vital composition. While there is evidence of an understanding of the example of Cézanne, this is clearly filtered through Basser’s own aesthetic vocabulary. Her landscape is more about the immediacy of visual impact than about nature’s underlying structures. The frenetic activity across the surface in one sense denies structure in favour of an immersive pictorial embrace that places the viewer directly in the painting. While structure may not be the artist’s ostensible concern it is certainly present. Devices such as the slight diagonal pushing up from the bottom right into the mid-ground of the painting intimate an horizon and thus ground the entire spatial and tonal configuration. Like many works in the Calleen Collection Summer Landscape is a celebration of our land, this time viewed with an eye at ease with the example of early Modernism.