Elioth Gruner: the texture of light exhibited seventy paintings, from the artist’s impressionist beachscapes and farmland views of the 1910s to the subtle and distinctive modernist landscapes of his maturity from the 1920s and 1930s, with a particular focus on Gruner’s remarkable visual explorations of the Canberra region.
Gruner was one of Australia’s most celebrated Australian artists in the early twentieth century and won the prestigious Wynne Prize (AGNSW) for landscape seven times between 1916 and 1937. He was also beloved of gallery audiences and remains so, especially for the wonderful Spring frost 1919 (AGNSW collection).
Elioth Gruner: the texture of light at CMAG was the first significant exhibition of Elioth Gruner’s art for thirty years, since Elioth Gruner 1882-1939 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1983. It was also the first concentrated showing of Gruner’s Canberra region works, which comprised a significant percentage of the CMAG show: the South Coast and the Southern Highlands; Yass and the Murrumbidgee River valley; and Cooma and the Monaro plateau. Few artists have represented this corner of south-eastern Australia with such extraordinary clarity as Gruner; perhaps only the late-twentieth century artists Rosalie Gascoigne and Imants Tillers.
This survey exhibition included works from a dozen major Australian public collections and sixteen private collections, many of which had not been seen in public for decades.
Canberra Museum and Gallery partnered with Newcastle Art Gallery in staging this important exhibition, which was curated by Deborah Clark, Senior Curator, Visual Arts at CMAG.