Virginia Cuppaidge
LYON - Acrylic on Canvas - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972 MIST ARENA - Virginia Cuppaidge 1971 BELLEGREEN - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972 BIG BLUE - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972 ORANGE RECTANGLE - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972 CALIFORNIA DREAM - Virginia Cuppaidge 1975 MAUVE BREAKER - Virginia Cuppaidge 1973 SECOND TRANSITION - Virginia Cuppaidge 1975 WAKENDA - Virginia Cuppaidge 1978 BLUE-TALOR - Virginia Cuppaidge 1979 ILLISUM - Virginia Cuppaidge 1973

GEOMETRICS

"Making paintings full of complex shapes Virginia mixed a series of hard edge rectangles and set them afloat in color fields where as often as not the fields dissolved into each other.

The composition of these paintings owed not a little to the late Hans Hoffman. The work was strongly influenced and yet within the paintings carefully mapped out limits Cuppaidge’s balancing of color blocks together with the strange color sense gave the viewer a feeling of openness, of landscape obsessed of another kind of light."

Corinne Robins Arts Magazine New York 1975

LYON - Acrylic on Canvas - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972

LYON

"a strong work that holds personal and historical significance in relation to our greatly admired Clement Meadmore sculpture 'Virginia' 1970'.

Ron Radford, Director, National Gallery of Australia.

MIST ARENA - Virginia Cuppaidge 1971

MIST ARENA

  • 1971
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

"Broad hardedge rectangular areas and bands of flat color combine with soft brushy rectangular areas to create L-shaped expanses of wide-open space in the paintings of Virginia Cuppaidge (at AM Sachs) who comes from Australia. She uses indescribable glowing colors-muted subtleties that merge from sand to lavender or from yellow to pink, or intense sharp turquoise or lime. Working within a familiar abstract tradition, she achieves an unexpectedly new color and openness."
Laurie Anderson Art International March 1973




BELLEGREEN - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972

BELLEGREEN

  • 1972
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

"At Gallery A Virginia Cuppaidge opts also for a large scale to express compression and tension in her geometric abstract paintings".

The intensity of large unbroken rectangles press down on taut thin lines, mixing hard and soft edge color, sometimes dense and uninflected and sometimes scrubbed and changing. These works that for all their apparent simplicity hold within them slowly revealing subtleties.

Ruth Faeber - The Australian Jewish Times, 1976

BIG BLUE - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972

BIG BLUE

  • 1972
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

"She soon discovered that New York is not the easiest place to find your feet. The only phone number she had was that of the Australian born sculptor Clement Meadmore, who she says, "showed me the ropes”. She got a job in Max Hutchinson Gallery, at the time there were only three galleries in SoHo, now there are about 450. By 1973 Cuppaidge’s own work was being exhibited in New York.

Alan Atwood, Sydney Morning Herald - June 1996

ORANGE RECTANGLE - Virginia Cuppaidge 1972

ORANGE RECTANGLE

  • 1972
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

One of the paintings in Virginia Cuppaidge’s 1985 exhibition (Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney) was called "From One Country To Another” a title which for the artist summed up the theme of the exhibition. Certainly on a symbolic level, these paintings were about Cuppaidge’s own national cross-over, her acquisition of American citizenship. The artist who moved to New York in 1969 and has lived here ever since, is part of that group of Immigrants who come to New York in search of a kind of aesthetic and intellectual space, who come here to enlarge their cultural horizons and stay on to enrich ours.”

Corinne Robins,- 1986 Essay –Stephen Rosenberg Gallery "Virginia’s Cuppaidge’s New World”

CALIFORNIA DREAM - Virginia Cuppaidge 1975

CALIFORNIA DREAM

  • 1975
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

I made this painting in the studio provided me when I was an artist in residence at the University of California in 1975. A big influence was Richard Diebenkorn.

Virginia Cuppaidge

Some of the most beautiful are a series she painted during a residency at the University of California at Santa Barbara, The Spanish flavor of the environment comes through as a deeply-worked terra-cotta glow off baking plaster walls, and explains what Cuppaidge means when she says that, although she is an avowed abstractionist who is determined to stay ahead of the field, she is also very much a painter from Nature, if not of it. The black green neon glow of New York’s night skyline is as much a part of nature as the sunny glare of California.

Kate Collins – Review – The Courier-Mail, Brisbane


THEONEUS

  • 1989
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 72in(182cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge 
  • Power Collection - Sydney University

‘Then of decisive importance, was the Mondrian retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum 1972. The work she had seen of the De Stijl painting in Australia was only in reproduction. But now she could respond to the paint quality when seeing actual canvases by Mondrian in the flesh. She realized that carefully structured painting could indeed also be sensuous at the same time. Like a Joycean epiphany, this moment of revelation has stayed with her as she continues her career as a painter.’ Peter Selz art historian, 1989 catalogue essay from exhibition at the Stephen Rosenberg Gallery, SoHo, New York.


SECOND TRANSITION

  • 1975
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 78in(200cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

Managing to do many things with a limited vocabulary is of course only one approach and, as in the case of much of the later works of 1960’s minimal artists, the law of diminishing returns can too easily set in: less rather than being more can dwindle down into little indeed. Cuppaidge’s narrowing of her formal vocabulary to date, however, has enabled her to achieve highly complex results in terms of color and light. The artist achieves a similar effect in SECOND TRANSITION with its fading pink-into-gray field forming the center ground of the canvas. The vertical color bands along the edges set out the horizontal blocks without defining where ‘out’ is, thus causing them to float. Finally light adheres differently to the hard as opposed to a soft painted surface. Cuppaidge manages to combine these surfaces and yet maintain the consistency of the light.

WAKENDA - Virginia Cuppaidge 1978

WAKENDA

She wanted to delve beneath the surface of her paintings. The middle of WAKENDA began as a dark charcoal grey but, influenced perhaps by the skyscapes, she wanted to lift and soften the surface. To this end she painted the bottom of the painting a soft pink. Then one of those accidents of art occurred – gradually she found the pink fading into the darker grey and she had achieved a soft misty surface. Although her formal art training led her momentarily to question the "authenticity of a technique that allowed colors to fade into each other, she now knew that a delicate, taut surface was possible. She wanted to achieve the light of the sky in paintings; the surfaces were to be light rather than colour and she would use the coloured shapes like "sparklers that would intercept light with light’. Her vision in tact, she began to experiment with the technique in a new series of paintings.

Dr. Kerrie M Bryan. Art and Australia 1980

BLUE-TALOR - Virginia Cuppaidge 1979

BLUE TALOR

  • 1979
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 72in(182cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge

Virginia always wanted to be an artist. Born in Brisbane in 1943 she moved to Sydney when she was 18 and studied at the now "sadly” defunct artists school The Mary White Art School where people like Olsen and Rapotec taught. Virginia is now her own painter, guest lecturing or teaching occasionally and returning to Sydney for her current show at Gallery A, timed always to coincide with the heady exuberance of Australia’s summer.

Vogue Australia, 1979

ILLISUM - Virginia Cuppaidge 1973

ILLISUM

  • 1973
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • 72in(182cm) high x 120in(305cm) wide
  • © Virginia Cuppaidge
  • In the Collection of the Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York

Cuppaidge’s highly charged color sense made itself felt in her first solo exhibition in 1973 at AM Sachs Gallery. Making paintings full of complex shapes she mixed a series of hard-edge rectangles and set them afloat in color fields where, as often as not, the forms dissolved into each other. The composition of these pictures owed not a little to the late Hans Hofmann. The work was strongly influenced and yet, within the paintings’ carefully mapped out limits Cuppaidge’s balancing of color blocks together with her strange color sense gave the viewer a feeling of openness, of landscape obsessed of another kind of light.

Corinne Robins, Art Critic and poet

← Prev
Next →