Elisa Crossing has been involved with the ANU since the early 1990s, attaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1996 and beginning as a seasonal lecturer in Core Studies, and later in Painting.  Her two works featured here, Exposed, and Degas’ Green, explore the theme of the frame and the way in which an audience views composition – themes that have featured prominently in her more recent career.


Exposed uses a restricted palette to depict a series of empty frames.  With the composition’s frame, it becomes a framed composition of parts of other frames: a view that creates a spatial layering showing the relationship between an artist’s studio, with raw canvas, and primer.  This is a simple composition, where represented raw (exposed) canvas is actual canvas – an exploration of what canvas makes up a finished composition.


Degas’ Green goes one step further than Exposed to explore an actual finished composition: Degas’ The Belelli Family (1858-1867), a detail of which features in the upper-centre of Crossing’s composition.  The green in the composition, for which it is named, is that which features in several of Degas’ other compositions.  In the foreground, there are two canvasses, an unfinished portrait, and a more abstract composition with pink, blue, and black quadrilaterals – all sitting upon a black lacquered cabinet.  It is, however, this deep teal blue that dominates the composition, an homage to one of the nineteenth century’s greatest artists.

Images L-R

Dega’s green 2016 oil on linen board 610 x 465 x 55 mm  Exposed 2016 oil on linen 355 x 255 mm
Australian National University Collection


Updated:  26 April 2017/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery