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Douglas Annand

Exhibition of modernist art and design by Douglas Annand

12 June 2003

An exhibition celebrating the work of one of Australia's leading modernist designers, Douglas Annand, opens at the Queensland Art Gallery from 30 June and continues until 31 August 2003.

'Douglas Annand: The Art of Life' is a National Gallery of Australia Travelling Exhibition and recognises the enormous contribution Annand made to the development of design in Australia.

Minister for the Arts, Matt Foley, said the exhibition traced Annand's prolific career from the 1930s through to the 1970s, and features 95 works including designs for magazine covers, posters, textiles, murals, sculpture and corporate images developed for some of Australia's largest companies.

'This exhibition reflects Annand's signature design aesthetic, which challenged conservative taste and creatively propelled modern aesthetics into the everyday lives of Australian people,' Mr Foley said.

'Including Annand's 1937 design for Australia's kangaroo penny, the exhibition reflects the richness of a practice that encompassed diverse collaborations with other skilled artisans across a wide variety of mediums.'

Queensland Art Gallery Director Doug Hall said the exhibition featured poster designs for the Australian National Travel Association, and included cover designs for The Home, a lifestyle magazine published by Sydney Ure Smith.

Mr Hall said Annand's 1935 magazine cover for The Home, depicting the stylish silhouette of a female face, was a great example of the calibre of Annand's design innovation.

'Annand created this cover using a collage of wire, feathers and paper, and its graphic success relies on the artist pushing the parameters of his chosen materials,' Mr Hall said.

Mr Hall said Annand's 1948 mural design for Patricia's Milkbar, near Wynyard Station Sydney, was just as innovative.

'Annand used wooden off-cuts to create the abstract design that engaged with modern technology, and incorporated motifs from science and astrology,' he said.

Annand was Art Director for the Australian Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He also received the Sulman Prize in 1941, 1947 and 1951 for his murals for Bathurst Public School, Jantzen and the Orient Line.

A free lecture on the exhibition by Anne McDonald, Curator, Australian Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Australia, will be hosted at the Gallery from 12 noon on Wednesday 20 August 2003.