In the 1990s Linda Marrinon worked predominantly in clay and terracotta, sculpting comically small scale landmark buildings and squat busts and figures incised with cartoon-like simplifications. Her enrolment at the tradition-minded New York Academy of Art (as part of a Samstag Fellowship) in 2001 marked a significant turning point for the artist. Introduced to the basic tools of figurative sculpture, Marrinon gained a greater technical understanding of human anatomy and the principles of motion. The very uprightness of her subsequent plaster sculptures (compared with the stocky characters of old) has allowed for an increasingly sophisticated repertoire of poses as witnessed in Figure Sculpture II. Marrinon’s latest cast model fashions from various eras, embodying Marrinon’s enduring fascination with the decorated body and the history of art
Aping traditional academic positions, Marrinon’s coquettish figures are subtly subversive. Their thick limbs and roughly fashioned poses evoke an awkward diffidence. Critic Robin McKenzie observes, ‘Marrinon’s figures seem acutely conscious of the fact that they are on display —self consciously striking poses, being sculptures.’ Their very scale undercuts the high aspirations of classical art, negating the heroic in favour of something more ordinary, manifest also in the ‘everyday’ materials—rope, cloth, leather - that constitute her characters’ various accessories. These attributes hint at the figures’ formative identities while each conveys sheer delight in the compliant act of physical touch.
Linda Marrinon has been exhibiting with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 1983. In 2001 a solo exhibition of her paintings and sculptures was held at the Ian Potter Museum in Melbourne. Also in 2001, Marrinon was a recipient of the prestigious Samstag Fellowship which permitted her to study at the New York Academy of Art. Museum exhibitions include Australian Perspecta (1983 and 1999) as well as Wit’s end (1993) and Word (1999), both at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Marrinon’s paintings and sculptures are held by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and in numerous private and corporate collections. A monograph on Marrinon, written by Chris McCauliffe, is available as part of the Craftsman House New Art Series. Figure sculpture II is Marrinon’s eighth solo exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.