Ann Newmarch remembered for her ground-breaking work as a feminist artist, 1945 - 2022

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Ann Newmarch remembered for her ground-breaking work as a feminist artist, 1945 - 2022
Ann Newmarch, Maralinga: poisoned rations, 1988, Adelaide, oil on canvas, 168.0 x 182.8 cm, Gift of the artist through Art Gallery of the South Australia Contemporary Collectors, 2021, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Ann Newmarch.

The Art Gallery of South Australia honours the life and career of esteemed South Australian artist Ann Newmarch (born 9 June 1945), who passed away peacefully on Thursday 13 January 2022.

Newmarch is celebrated for her significant national and international reputation as an innovative printmaker, painter and sculptor and for her service to community cultural development through art. Embracing feminism and feminist issues since the 1970s, Newmarch was a founding member of the Progressive Art Movement and the Women’s Art Movement and is recognised for her trailblazing work as a feminist and social activist.

Newmarch is particularly renowned for her experimental printmaking practice, which she often employed to raise awareness of political issues, gender inequality, environmental concerns and Aboriginal land rights. Her work also drew upon personal and family imagery to make statements about the role of women in society.

AGSA Director, Rhana Devenport ONZM says, ‘Ann Newmarch was an artist who never shied away from the political, the radical or the personal. Ann was ground-breaking in more ways than one; she was among the first women to hold a teaching position at the South Australian School of Art and was the first woman to be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at AGSA, held in 1997 and titled The Personal is Political.

We join Ann’s family, friends and the artistic community in recognising her remarkable life and career, and tireless contribution to the artistic landscape of Australia.’

Newmarch was also keenly involved in local community art projects through her involvement in the Community Association of Prospect and the Prospect Mural Group. In 1989, Newmarch was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the Arts; and the City of Prospect, her home base for five decades, acknowledged her contribution in 2019 by naming their new community gallery the Newmarch Gallery.

Newmarch’s work is represented in all state galleries and in major private collections, including more than 40 works held by the Art Gallery of South Australia.

A memorial service to celebrate Ann Newmarch’s life will be held with details to be announced at a later date.

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