Explore the Serene, Precise World of Criss Canning this November and December at Smith & Singer in Melbourne

– Thomas Austin,
Smith & Singer

Vibrant, meticulous and alluring, the still life subjects of renowned Australian artist Criss Canning are widely and appropriately celebrated by public institutions and private collectors across the world. This month, Smith & Singer will have the honour of presenting 15 previously unseen paintings by Canning within a solo exhibition in our Melbourne galleries, from 23 November to 18 December 2020 at 14-16 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Criss Canning born 1947
Banksia 2019
oil on board, 55 x 50 cm
Price Available on Request
© Courtesy of Criss Canning

Driven by the enduring pursuit of beauty through the creation of art, Canning’s distinctive eye resonates through every work in this exhibition. From the tranquil precision of her compositions to the clean lines of her subjects – for she breathes more life into the glasses, vases and earthenware than their inanimate forms should hold – the artist’s recognisable style could not be better illustrated by the present group. Long inspired by the beauty of her immediate environment, we see flowers plucked from Canning’s vibrant gardens outside Ballarat, such as the sumptuous banksias that appear to reach out to the viewer from works such as Banksia 2019

Criss Canning born 1947
The Deco Tray 2020
oil on board, 50.5 x 50.5 cm
Price Available on Request
© Courtesy of Criss Canning

Canning acknowledges the breadth and importance of still life painting to both Western and Eastern civilisations, marrying both style and subject from East and West effortlessly. We can see this most clearly by the influence of Japanese porcelain and woodblock printing, in concert with the geometric abstraction of European twentieth-century schools in paintings such as The View from Oshino 2020 and The Deco Tray 2020. Indeed, it is through Canning’s recognition and understanding of her influences that she is able to marry them with such delicacy and ease.

Criss Canning born 1947
The View from Oshino 2020
oil on board, 50 x 40 cm
Price Available on Request
© Courtesy of Criss Canning

Criss Canning’s works are held in permanent collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat; Castlemaine Art Museum, Castlemaine; Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns; Artbank, Melbourne; and private collections in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Alongside representation in the aforementioned institutions, Canning’s work has also been celebrated in numerous publications, including two forthcoming volumes to be published this year. David Thomas’s Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty (rev. ed.) will be published later in 2020 by Thames & Hudson Australia and will include illustrations of each painting from this exhibition. In addition to this, Smith & Singer will be releasing an accompanying hardbound catalogue to the present exhibition, which is available to buy via our website below, and in our premises.

Open to the public and via private appointment, Smith & Singer invites you to visit our Melbourne galleries and immerse yourself in the vivid, serene world of Criss Canning this November and December.

Criss Canning born 1947
The Ruby Glass 2020
oil on board, 63 x 52.5 cm
Price Available on Request
© Courtesy of Criss Canning