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Like many women artists of her generation, Isabel Alexander struggled for opportunity and recognition in a field that was overwhelmingly male; and like many more women across society as a whole she had to reconcile ambition with financial pressures and the demands of parenting, and single parenting at that. Yet her skills in drawing and painting, honed by her rigorous 1930 Slade training, melded with an unflagging work ethic, fierce independence and a delight in experimentation to give her works immediacy and energy as well as flair and distinction.
This much overdue and generously illustrated monograph traces Isabel Alexander's life, influences and work over her sixty-year career. With approximately 100 colour images, it is a beautiful addition to any bookcase.
Janet McKenzie studied history of art and philosophy at the Australian National University and etching at the Canberra School of Art and did her PhD at the University of St Andrew, Scotland. She is a senior research fellow at the University of Dundee.