Elizabeth Cross is better known as an art historian and curator, but she has nurtured her remarkable talent for drawing out of the public eye. This exhibition consists of twenty drawings of trees – they are for the most part denuded of foliage and it is their nervy, sinuous, gesticulating grace that translates so well into the language of drawing.
Western art history is full of great artists who have been fascinated by trees and have been inspired to make works which have an analogy with the light-loving, profusely spreading, graceful unities that trees epitomise. There is a tradition stretching from Albrecht Dürer and Claude Lorrain to Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and Mondrian which establishes the most exacting criteria in the field of drawing. That these drawings by Elizabeth Cross can withstand any such comparison is surely the measure of her formidable achievement.
The Drill Hall Gallery 2019 program of exhibitions has been generously supported by the ANU Visual Arts Foundation