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CRISS CANNING - Artichoke Flowers
  • CRISS CANNING - Artichoke Flowers

© Criss Canning/Copyright Agency, 2024



Artichoke Flowers 1994

Estimate: $35000 - 45000



Artichoke Flowers 1994

oil on canvas
71.0 x 61.0 cm; 104.0 x 93.0 cm (framed)
signed lower right: Criss/ Canning.

Gould Galleries, Melbourne, 1995 (label attached verso)
Private collection, Melbourne
Menzies, Sydney, 23 September 2014, lot 25
Private collection, Victoria

Kalianthi: the Art of Criss Canning, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria, 9 February - 13 May 2007; Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria, 4 July - 19 August 2007, cat.58 (label attached verso)

Thomas, D., Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2008, p.115, pl.45 (illus.)

This work is to be included in a forthcoming publication by Thames & Hudson, Melbourne, in November 2024

Estimate: $35000 - 45000

Acclaimed Australian painter and printmaker, Criss Canning, is an artist who has redefined the idea of the traditional still life genre – there are no delicate arrangements of soft pink roses in Canning’s body of work. Instead, her compositions brim with vibrantly glazed vases and bowls, patterned fabrics and brightly coloured flowers cut from her vast garden outside Ballarat – everything from gum blossoms and cacti to banksias and poppies. Canning and her husband established a renowned working nursery in which blooms of every variety are grown. The abundant harvests provide Canning with an ever-changing source of inspiration for her work.

Through her paintings, Canning invites the viewer into her studio to see and delight in the flowers, fabrics and ceramics she uses in her compositions. Almost every surface is crowded with props - hundreds or jugs, vases, trays, shells, ceramics and richly decorated pieces of fabric. The artist’s studio is an insight into her approach to still life painting, not only showing the accoutrements she uses but also the concepts behind her compositions. The way Canning transforms each unique setting into a finished artwork is ‘where the magic comes in.’(1)

Artichoke Flowers 1994 exemplifies the artist’s ability to create a beautifully balanced composition with her chosen objects - here, a turquoise-glazed Moroccan vase together with a pale blue bowl are set against a richly coloured fabric of flowers and horizontal lines. The artist has cleverly included a painting within a painting – a small landscape work partially obscured behind the vase of flowers. The sunset colours provide a backdrop for the vibrant greens and purples of the striking artichoke flowers.

She builds her images with the same meticulous craftsmanship as a weaver of quilt-maker: tracing each object’s outline and securing it firmly into the pictorial plane with deft black lines and powerful blocks of pure colour…we find ourselves drawn into a world where colour blends with form in a private orchestration led by the artist’s distinctive baton.(2)

Criss Canning has held more than twenty solo exhibitions and her works are held in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of Ballarat; Castlemaine Art Museum; Cairns Art Gallery; Artbank and numerous private collections in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States of America.



1. Thomas, D., Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2008, p.82
2. Clabburn, A., ‘Criss Canning – Quilting with Daylight’, Criss Canning: Reflecting on Still-Life, Gould Galleries, Melbourne, 1998, n.p.


Caroline Jones

Caroline Jones has worked in the visual arts industry for more than 15 years, as an auction house art specialist and commercial gallery manager. She currently works as an independent art consultant specialising in art valuation, research, writing, collection management and curatorial services.


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