Untitled (seated woman in skirt)
Robert Besanko's essential isolation as an artist has led to the evolution of a personal and poetic vision. One can sense in his fascination with simplified forms and composition a distinct shift away from realism towards something other-worldly - an effect accentuated by the subtle textural quality of the now obsolete Kodalith paper he used in the printing process.
Besanko's highly-aestheticised images of women are typical of his work from the 1970-80s. While they are sensual and sensitive studies, a strange and intentional spatial ambiguity implicates the viewer within the photographic act. The artist has suggested in an interview that:
'you are aware of what the image can become when you look at the subject. The signature is the lyrical line - the otherness - and the intimacy. I strive for the essence… but more as well. The eroticism is the humanity, if you do not deny it.' (The Age, 2 August 1988)
gelatin silver photograph on Kodalith paper
21.3 x 31.8 cm image; 28.1 x 35.6 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Referenced in 3 publications
Judy Annear, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Magical realism', pg.226-245, Sydney, 2007, 235 (illus.).
Judy Annear, What is this thing called photography?, Sydney, 1999. no catalogue numbers
Gael Newtown, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Photography - Australian, European and American', pg. 67-84, Sydney, 1981, 72. cat.no. 11