KINGS Artist-Run proudly presents the first retrospective of Australia’s least celebrated artist, Fitri Graham. The survey honours the life, oeuvre and cultural legacy of Graham – a legacy that not only shaped the visual arts as we know it, but coloured so many of our memories.
Fitri Jane Graham (1922-1980) was an abstract painter whose exhibition Melancholia was negatively received in 1949. Haunted by its ‘failure’ Graham never touched a paintbrush again.
However, Melancholia was not as unappreciated as Graham had first perceived – imitations began appearing in the backgrounds of portrait photography and by the 1970s had become the dominant backdrop. Realising this, Graham took legal action against fourteen photography companies; devastatingly she lost.
To do justice to Graham and her story this long-awaited retrospective features oil paintings and watercolour studies from the original Melancholia series, notably Melancholia IV (the coveted piece recently rediscovered in the back of a rental property pantry), as well as important archival pieces from the Fitri Graham Foundation including exhibition reviews and Graham’s personal belongings and diaries.
Fitri Graham (b. 1922 Cremorne, Sydney, NSW – d. 1980 Queanbeyan, NSW) was an Australian abstract painter whose only solo exhibition, Melancholia was exhibited in 1949. – http://fitrigrahamfoundation.art.blog