Eveline Syme (1881-1961) Hyde Park, Sydney, c.1930

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Lot 1
Eveline Syme
(1881-1961)
Hyde Park, Sydney, c.1930

Sold for AU$ 19,680 (US$ 13,741) inc. premium

Important Australian Art

17 Nov 2021, 18:00 EST

Sydney

Eveline Syme (1881-1961)
Hyde Park, Sydney, c.1930
signed with estate stamp lower right: 'E.W.SYME'
watercolour and pencil on paper
37.0 x 22.5cm (14 9/16 x 8 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Estate of the artist
    Jim Alexander Gallery, Melbourne
    Private collection, Melbourne

    EXHIBITED
    Eveline Syme and Melbourne's French Connection, Jim Alexander Gallery, Melbourne, 5 - 12 June, 1988 (illus. cover)


    'As a child Eveline had some drawing lessons but, on leaving school, she was enrolled at Cambridge University where she completed a Classical Tripos with honours, graduating as a Bachelor of Arts in 1912. She continued her education in Melbourne and graduated with a Diploma of Education from Melbourne University in 1914. Later she was to be awarded her MA by Cambridge University and is believed also to have studied at the Sorbonne in Paris...

    Her close and lifelong friend Ethel Spowers was, at the time, studying at the National Gallery School under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin... By January 1929 the two friends were both enrolled at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London. The Principle was Iain McNab and Claude Flight taught lino-cutting. Both students received a good grounding in the principles of modernism and the liberating influence of Flight was to allow them to become two of Melbourne's best and most interesting print makers in the thirties.

    In October 1929 (and possibly earlier), Eveline Syme was back in Paris and studying again under Andrew Lhote. Her first encounter with him does not appear to have produced any marked modernisation of her style but this time miss Syme was very receptive. As well as using Lhote's characteristic abstraction of shapes it appears that she studied with him the principles of Dynamic Symmetry as explained in the book of that name by Jay Hambridge (published in 1920). In a number of her watercolours, done in Australia after her return, you can discern the pencil grids which she drew as a guide to making an interesting composition'.1

    As a pioneer of Australian modernism during the flourishing interwar years, Syme has infused the present work with her French learnings. Hyde Park, Sydney, offers the viewer an insight into her technical process with its underlying pencil work, whilst also depicting the lifestyle of the period and urban landscape of Sydney's oldest park and the impressive T&G Building which once occupied the corner of Elizabeth and Park Street, however was demolished in 1975.

    Alex Clark

    1. Eveline Syme and Melbourne's French Connection, exh. cat., Jim Alexander Gallery, Melbourne, 1988, n.p.
Contacts
Eveline Syme (1881-1961) Hyde Park, Sydney, c.1930
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