Mosman Art Gallery

Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture

Saturday 16 March – Sunday 19 May 2013

Each morning when I wake up I put on my mother’s face  2000
oil and encaustic on board
150.0 × 100.0 cm
Collection of the artist

Each morning when I wake up I put on my mother’s face 2000
oil and encaustic on board
150.0 × 100.0 cm
Collection of the artist

This exhibition examines the process of portrait-making by the notable Australian artist Jenny Sages, who is well known for her abstract landscapes, scratched and gouged from encaustic wax and delicately coloured with powdered pigments.

Jenny Sages won the prestigious Mosman Art Prize in 1994 and was an adjudicator in 2001.

Along with her abstract works, Jenny has also had a long practice in painting portraits and since 1989 she has been an Archibald finalist eighteen times, and has won the Portia Geach Memorial Award for portraiture twice. During the same period she has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize for landscape thirteen times, winning in 2005 with a perspective on the work titled Road to Utopia.

The exhibition Paths to Portraiture includes the artist’s large-scale portraits displayed alongside preparatory drawings as well as other artworks, objects and materials that inspired and relate to these portraits. Most works in the exhibition are drawn from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, and have not yet been on display in Sydney. Sitters include four strong women influential in their fields of endeavour: painter Emily Kngwarreye, author Helen Garner, dancer Irina Baronova, and fashion designers Heide Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke.

Jenny Sages was born in 1933 to Russian parents in Shanghai, and grew up amidst the city’s European expatriates. In her mid-teens she came with her parents to Sydney, but soon left art school there to study in New York. Having returned to Australia, for three decades she worked as an illustrator and writer of fashion and travel features for numerous magazines, including Vogue. In 1983 after a trip to the Kimberley, Sages gave up commercial art and began to concentrate on her visual arts practice full-time concentrating on both abstract and landscape works.

The exhibition is accompanied by a short documentary film commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery from independent director Catherine Hunter and offers a lyrical introduction to Jenny Sages’s inquisitive, intelligent and effusive personality.

Media

Paths to Portraiture learning resource

The National Portrait Gallery has developed a learning resource aimed at Years 7 to 9 Visual Arts which can be adapted to suit a range of levels. This kit is designed for teacher led discussion with students.

Public Program

Paths to Portraiture: Curator's Floor talk with Dr. Sarah Engledow

Saturday 16 March
Mosman Art Gallery, 3:00PM – 4:30PM

Join the Historian at the National Portrait Gallery and exhibition curator for a floor talk and exhibition overview. Admission free, RSVP online.

An Artful Affair: Lunch with Jenny Sages, Ruth Burgess & Simon Marnie

Tuesday 16 April
Mosman Art Gallery, 12:00PM – 2:00PM

This not to be missed special event is a key fundraiser for Mosman Art Gallery. Join us for a delicious two course luncheon – including wine and coffee – in the Grand Hall. Book online.

Expressive Drawing Master Class with Jenny Sages

Sunday 5 May
Mosman Art Gallery, 10:00AM – 3:00PM

Join the artist for an intimate Master Class as she imparts her passionate love of expressive drawing as the basis for all areas of her art practice. Sorry, booked out.