5 Favourites with Yvette Coppersmith

Yvette Coppersmith is a painter specialising in both portraiture and abstraction. In 2018, Yvette won the Archibald Prize awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW for her painting ‘Self Portrait, after George Lambert’ and is one of the ten female artists to have won the prestigious prize in 100 years.

Ahead of our Women Artists auction on 18 September, we welcomed Yvette Coppersmith to choose her favourite pieces.


Lot 55
Helen Maudsley
The Imprint of What Was Once There 1996
oil on canvas laid on plywood

Appreciating the muted tonality and refined geometric abstraction exemplified by this Maudsley.
Dial Lot 55 to enter Barbie’s Deam House from the year they had a collab with Leggo and Le Corbusier. As the legendary dinner guests recite syncopated poetry… Let your mind travel.

Lot 46
Dorothy Braund
Self Portrait c.1960
oil on board

Unsurprisingly I love a modernist self-portrait!  Braund has simplified the form and tonal range, yet this work is very detailed compared to her figurative style generally. The tonality and mark making reminds me of Picasso’s Neoclassical figures – though without the monumentality. The colour of the background is reminiscent of sea and sky and the stripes cleverly delineate the torso and add to the beach theme.


Lot 54
Erica McGilchrist
Doorway for Eve 1970
(From the Enigmatic Entrances series)
synthetic polymer paint on canvas

This piece is the perfect accompaniment to a daydream, the image would even seem to morph as one experiences elevated thought.  McGilchrist’s painted portal is re-imagining a central Biblical theme in western art. Transposing the viewer with Eve’s POV beyond the frame. Hovering above the earthly plane the apple entices the all-gendered viewer to the archway.  Mind the geometric gap as you climb towards the perennial forbidden fruit.  


Lot 28
Sybil Craig
oil on paper

There are several Sybil Craig works in this auction and it’s tempting to select Craig’s for all my 5 choices – which would still be a diverse collection of images. This one is compelling for its gestural freedom and aliveness. The title ‘Abstract’ is like a bucking horse of the figurative reading that I want to impose.  Also, can one have blue and horses without a nod to Der Blaue Reiter group?


Lot 78
Violet McInnes
Still Life 1935
oil on canvasboard

As unapologetic romantics let us rejoice in this lush and sensual painting of roses. It is befitting a luxe boutique, boudoir, or dining room and would benefit times when the rose garden is bare – both metaphorically, and of course, literal. Interestingly Violet McInnes was the subject for the Archibald’s first winning portrait of an artist in 1923: a painting by her husband WBMcInnes.

HANNAH RYAN / Art Specialist, Manager of Speciality Auctions

Banner Image: Yvette Coppersmith / Photo taken by Katy Roubin

September 2023