Virginia COVENTRY, Canberra grid Enlarge 1 /1


East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia born 1942

  • Slade School London 1967/8 Melbourne 1953 - 1969
  • 1973-75 Sydney 1970-72
  • 1976 -

Canberra grid 1996 Place made: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: drawings, drawing in pencil on synthetic polymer paint Support: thick smooth off-white wove paper on thick smooth white wove paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark

Primary Insc: Signed lower right within image, 'VHC '96'. Dated lower right below image in black pencil, '16/2/'96'. Titled lower centre below image in black pencil, 'Canberra grid #1'. Inscribed lower left below image in black pencil, '27.5 cm / square / window / over / drawing / as / marked'. Inscribed upper right above image in black pencil, '16/7/'04 Lascaux acrylic adhesive'. Inscribed verso sheet (a) lower right in black pencil, '16/2/96'. Inscribed verso sheet (a) lower centre right in black pencil, 'window mount. / 27.5 cms / square. / + square mount. / 10 cms. [underlined]'.
Dimensions: image 29.0 h x 28.4 w cm sheet (a) 29.0 h x 28.4 w cm sheet (b) 45.2 h x 38.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2009
Accession No: NGA 2009.685
Image rights: © Virginia Coventry. Licensed by Viscopy
  • Purchased by the National Gallery of Australia, from the artist, Sydney, August 2009.

Drawing has always played a key role in the conceptual, formal and performative framework of Virginia Coventry’s rigorous picture making. Both of these drawings engage the use of silverpoint over black acrylic paint. The silver grids – at once representational (they refer to actual spaces) and non-objective (they draw attention to the edges of the drawing and its support) – can be difficult to see against the black grounds. In moving around and over the drawings to more clearly see the silver line, the viewer joins the artist in an experience of what she calls ‘the optical and felt space of drawing’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra