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Criss Canning, born in Melbourne in 1947, is one of Australia’s leading still life artists. Her rich strong paintings are unmistakably her own. Incredibly accomplished technically, her work is sumptuous in colour, complex in design and sensuous in effect. Canning’s paintings repay careful and repeated viewing. Each brushstroke is lovingly and lusciously applied.
The objects in her work, the flowers, ceramics, trays and fabrics are arranged and rearranged until a wonderful balance and harmony is achieved. Only then does Canning put paint to canvas.
Criss Canning has her studio in an 1860s farm house in the farming district of Ascot, north of Ballarat where she lives with her husband, David Glenn owner of Lambley Nursery. Together they have created an internationally renowned garden. Plant material from the garden is a major inspiration in her paintings. Canning’s brave and exciting use of colour, her beautiful brushwork and her meticulous compositions are much loved by those collectors who have bought her paintings over the last 40 years or so.
Criss Canning has held seventeen one woman exhibitions at leading art galleries, (most of them sell out shows) in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane as well as exhibiting in numerous group shows both in Australia and overseas. Canning is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and major private collections both in Australia and overseas.
The first major retrospective exhibition of Criss Canning, one of Australia’s foremost contemporary still life painters, was held at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in February 2007. It then travel to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in Julythat year.
A major monograph by David Thomas with an introduction by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was published by Macmillan in 2007 to celebrate Criss Canning and her remarkable body of work to coincide with the exhibition. This has recently been revised (late 2008) and re-printed as the first edition sold out within 6 month.
Giles Auty in a Brisbane Courier Mail review of a show at Philip Bacon’s Gallery wrote “Flowers, fabrics and ceramics are merely props employed in remarkable essays in pictorial placement. If you thought the art of composition was dead, think again. Canning’s work has something of the calm exactitude of a Zen garden and can induce comparable sensations of serenity”
Curator Anna Clabburn has written that “Her work, like her personal nature, is boldly independent and full of a rich joy in life and its visual beauty.”
2016 Mossgreen Galleries, Melbourne, ‘New Works from the Studio’
2013 Savill Gallery, Sydney
2013 Savill Gallery, Sydney
2012 Metro Gallery, Melbourne
2010 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2008 Metro 5, Melbourne
2007 Major Retrospective, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
2007 Major Retrospective, Ballarat Regional Gallery, Victoria
2006 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
2004 Gould Galleries, Sydney
2002 Gould Galleries, Melbourne
2001 Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
1999 ‘Recent Works’, Gould Galleries, Sydney
1998 ‘Reflecting on Still Life’, Gould Galleries, Sydney
1995 ‘In and Around Burnside’, Gould Galleries, Melbourne
1991 Melbourne Fine Art Gallery
1987, 89 Melbourne Art Exchange
1986 ‘Impressions of Greece’, Melbourne Art Exchange
1983, 84, 85 Melbourne Art Exchange
1983 Hut Gallery, Victoria
1982 Kalorama Gallery, Victoria
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 Artists Inspired by Nature, Savill Gallery, Sydney
2013 Castlemaine Gallery Print Exhibition
2008 Contemporary Gallery Artists – Browse & Darby – London
2007 ‘Christmas Show’ – Browse & Darby – London
2006 Director’s Choice 2006, Gould Galleries, Melbourne,
2005 Delshan Gallery, Melbourne, March 2005 Swinburne Eclectics Exhibition
2005 Director’s Choice 2005, Gould Galleries, Melbourne,
Gould Galleries, Sydney,
2002 Favourites, Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart Selections,
S.H. Irvin Gallery, Sydney
1996 The Blooming Exhibition, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
1995 There’s Still Life, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
1993 Australian Women Artists, Melbourne Fine Art Gallery
1992 Melbourne Fine Art Gallery
1992 Australian Women Artists, Melbourne Fine Art Gallery
1991-96 A.M.E. Bale Award Exhibition (prize awarded)
1991-97 Gould Galleries, Hong Kong
1991-98 Views and Vision, Greenhill Galleries, South Australia
1990 Australian Flower Paintings 1890-1990
Trevor Bussell Gallery, Sydney
1987, 88 Melbourne Art Exchange
1987 Doug Moran Award (finalist)
National Gallery of Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
Castlemaine Art Gallery
Cairns Art Gallery
Private collections in United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning illustrated program, 2014
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning illustrated program, 2013
Margaret Burin, ‘The Pursuit of Perfection: Criss Cannings flourishing love affair with painting’, ABC Radio, 30 April 2012
Holly Kerr-Foryth, ‘Pretty as a picture’, The Australian, 1 May 2012
Denise Gadd, ‘Artistic fusion in full bloom’, The Age, 21 April 2012
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning Illustrated program 2012
Jeff Makin, ‘Critical Moments’, Macmillan Art Publishing, 2011
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning Illustrated program, 2011
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning illustrated program, 2010
Criss Canning Mcmillan Mini Art Book #9, Ken McGregor & Jenny Zimmer, Macmillan Art Publishing 2010
West Green House Opera, U.K. Criss Canning illustrated program, 2009
2008 Banksia’s – Kevin Collins, Kathy Collins & Alex George. Cc – Illustration P.69 –
‘Winter Banksia’ Published ‘Blooming Books’.
2nd Revised edition ‘The Pursuit of Beauty’ 2008
‘The Pursuit of Beauty’– the Art of Criss Canning – monograph by David Thomas. Published by Macmillan Art Publishing 2007
A.B.C. Arts Program – ‘Artworks’ – Presenter Amanda Smith. March 2007 & December 2007
Sasha Grishin – ‘Stepping out of the Shadows’ – Canberra Times – 28th July 2007
Art Almanac, ‘The Phoenix Tray’, featured on the cover, May 2004.
Z. Crawthorne ‘Blossoming Talent’, Herald Sun, Melbourne, 16 November 2002, p.12
R. Yallop, ‘Outcasts You Can Live With’, The Australian, 25 October 2002, p.15
G. Auty, ‘Review’, The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, October 2001.
S. McLean, ‘Beautiful Career is Blooming’, The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, October 2001
E. Yammin, ‘The Face’, The Australian, March 2001
A. Clabburn, Australian Garden History Journal (cover illustration & article)
C. Maddocks, ‘Picture This’, The Age, Good Weekend, 30 October 1999
‘Kunspen Down Under’ Hrymfaxe, Denmark, June 1998, pp.10-11.
A. Clabburn, ‘Quilting with Daylight’, catalogue essay, Gould Galleries, 29 May 1998
‘Still Life, With Garden’ The Australian Gardener, January/February 1998
S. Pascoe, ‘Criss Canning’, Art and Antiques, December, 1996
‘An Artist in the Garden’ Australian Garden Journal, Spring 1995
L. Landy, ‘Garden Artistry’, Australian Country Style, June 1995
E. Hamilton & J. Livingstone, Form and Feeling, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, 1990 (cover illustration)
P. Shrubb, Living Alone, Hale & Ironmonger, Australia 1989 (cover illustration)
P. Williams, ‘Pushing Colour to the Limit’, Business Review Weekly, October 1989
‘Painting Still Life Oils in Colours that Sing’, Australian Artist, August 1988