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One of Queensland’s greatest living artists, Madonna Staunton has made a major contribution to Australian modernism over the last five decades. Esteemed for her collage and assemblage work — which is often noted for its complex lineage of Dada, Constructivist, Fluxus and Abstract Expressionist precedents — Staunton has more recently committed her famed eloquence to figurative painting. Composed with the talents amassed during this long commitment, these late representational works make evident the weighty insights that can come with age and deep reflection.

Beginning with her earliest colour field abstracts of the 1960s, ‘Out of a clear blue sky’ searches through Staunton’s whole career for preludes and connections to this return to painting. Moreover, the exhibition suggests that the artist has always taken on the concerns and interests of a painter, albeit one that has often worked with unconventional materials.

Significantly, this exhibition also demonstrates Staunton’s remarkable capacity to change and adapt, reintroduce and renew. Bringing many of the artist’s key achievements together, ‘Out of a clear blue sky’ is also a fine confirmation of the value to be found by investing in ideas and ideals, feelings and thoughts over the longest term.

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