It was in Sydney that New Zealand-born, Adelaide-trained Cazneaux ultimately made the photographs on which his high historical reputation is justifiably based. His personal vision helped to shape a nation's understanding of itself in the first half of the twentieth century. Emerging from the poetics of the pictorialist tradition, Cazneaux nonetheless admired, and imitated, the racier, more hard-edged themes of modernist photography. His interest in contemporary European photography, especially that of the German Weimar Republic, confirmed his subject matter as urban, industrial and documentary. The building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge provided him with a project perfectly formed for his artistic needs. Here, in but one of many superlative examples, Cazneaux contrasts the uncompromisingly mechanistic structure with a subtle tracery of light and shadow.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.
Arch of steel
gelatin silver photograph
29.7 x 21.5 cm image/sheet; 35.9 x 27.4 cm card
Signature & date
Signed l.r. card, pencil "H Cazneaux" and u.c. verso card, pencil ".../ H Cazneaux". Not dated.
Gift of the Cazneaux family 1975
Not on display
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Project 7 - Harold Cazneaux: 1878 - 1953 (1975), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 1975–28 Sep 1975
Australian Pictorial Photography:
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney 12 Jun 1979–08 Jul 1979
- The Victorian College of the Arts Gallery, South Bank 08 Aug 1979–31 Aug 1979
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 01 Dec 1979–30 Jan 1980
Souvenirs of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Mar 1992–10 May 1992
My city of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2000–22 Oct 2000
Soft Shadows and Sharp Lines: Australian photography from Cazneaux to Dupain, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Sep 2002–17 Nov 2002
Bridging Sydney, Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 16 Dec 2006–29 Apr 2007
Harold Cazneaux: artist in photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Jun 2008–10 Aug 2008
Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013
Referenced in 14 publications
Natasha Bullock (Curator), Soft shadows and sharp lines: Australian photography from Cazneaux to Dupain, Sydney, 2002. no pagination or catalogue numbers
Natasha Bullock, Look, 'Harold Cazneaux: artist in photography', pg.28-31, Sydney, Jun 2008, 28.
Natasha Bullock, Harold Cazneaux: artist in photography, Sydney, 2008.
Deborah Edward and Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Sydney moderns', pg.12-17, Sydney, 2013, 15 (illus.).
Philip Geeves and Gael Newton, Philip Geeves presents Cazneaux's Sydney 1904-1934, Sydney, 1980, 142, 143 (illus.).
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Australian Photography', pg. 198-207, Sydney, 1999, 202 (illus.).
Caroline Mackaness, Bridging Sydney, Sydney, 2006, 52 (illus.).
Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 38 (illus.).
Gael Newton, Project 7: Harold Cazneaux 1878 - 1953, Sydney, 1975. cat.no. 26
Gael Newton, Silver and Grey - Fifty Years of Australian Photography 1900-1950, 1980. plate no. 55
Gael Newton, Australian Pictorial Photography, Melbourne, 1979, 17. cat.no. 26
Michael Wardell, My city of Sydney, Sydney, 2000, back cover (illus.). no pagination or catalogue numbers
Judith White, Look, 'Sydney-side-on', pg.28-29, Melbourne, Apr 2000, 29 (illus.).
Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia - A History of Photography, Sydney, 1988, 151. fig.no. 90