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Yvonne Audette (1930-)

Professions: Painter

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  • YVONNE AUDETTE By The Sea On An Overcast Day, 1967

  • Yvonne Audette , Australian B. 1930 CALLIGRAPHIC SIGNS, OPUS No. 1 Oil on plywood

  • YVONNE AUDETTE Born 1930 Summer Morning 1975/76

Yvonne Audette Biography

Yvonne Audette (born 1930) is a leading Australian abstract artist.

Audette was born in Sydney in 1930 and after attending art classes whilst still at secondary school she and her parents were persuaded to have her trained as an artist. She enrolled at the Julian Ashton School but she became tired of the uninspiring teaching. The main teacher was Henry Gibbons who was nearing retirement. In 1951 his duties were taken over by John Passmore who was returning to Australia.[1]

Passmore became the main teacher at this private school. One of his favourite students was Audette. She compared his return to the school as "like Moses" returning with the tablets of stone. He taught her to look at the subject of their paintings as not only a connection of rods, but also as a collection of facets and as a creation of basis mathematical shapes. The workaholic Passmore enthused about Cezanne and passed his, and Cezanne's, views on tone and structure onto Audette. Audette however found Passmore a difficult person. He worked hard on his own work but it was kept in a separate room and his students were not allowed to see it.[1]

Passmore would play the male students off against Audette playing psychological games. Audette was not part of the main artistic group. This was partly due to her parents who supplied her with her own flat.[1] Audette did some work as a model for the Australian photographers David Moore and Max Dupain.[2]

In 1955 she started to study in New York gaining influence from Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner.[2] Audette created her own studio in Milan after a brief period in Florence. She travelled to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece and Germany before returning to her home city in 1966.[3] Her first exhibition was with Robert Klippel. Her portrait of Klippel is in the Australian National Portrait Gallery.[4] From 1969 she was working in Melbourne.[3]

Audette's profile was raised by a major exhibition in 1999 in Queensland and the publication of a book about her life and works.[1] The National Portrait Gallery has quoted a description of her as "Australia's greatest living abstract painter".[4]

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