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An image of Man of paper VII by Godwin Bradbeer

Godwin Bradbeer

(New Zealand, Australia 1950 – )

Man of paper VII
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
graphite, chinagraph, charcoal, pastel, scraping out on white wove paper

133.2 x 110.6 cm sheet ; 150.5 x 128.0 x 2.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r.corner, pencil "1995-98 Goodwin Bradbeer".
Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 1998
Accession number
© Godwin Bradbeer
Not on display
Further information

‘Stark, simple, spartan, sublime, if ever possible. This I want my paintings and my drawings to be.’ (Godwin Bradbeer, 1998). 'Man of paper VII' was partly inspired by a character in Martin Scorsese’s film 'Raging Bull' (1980), about a struggling, middle-aged boxer, and partly by a mature age student of the artist, an ex-boxer, who became his studio assistant. Bradbeer was struck by the vulnerability of a classic boxing pose this man made one day, and made several versions of the subject. ‘It was like he was crying, an image like a cowering, cornered animal.’ (Rebecca Lancashire, 1998).

Bradbeer works on his drawings over extended periods of time, returning to each again and again. They are built up over an anatomical substructure in many layers of graphite, chinagraph, pastel and charcoal, each layer scraped back
or polished with a spoon.

'I work with layers, like a layer of anatomy, layers of translucent flesh, of blacks and silver. For instance, in the use of various whites … so that the underdrawing tends to have an ivory cast to it and the overdrawing has a luminosity, so one looks solid, the other more diaphanous …' (Godwin Bradbeer, 1999).

This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1998 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1998.

Bibliography (8)

Bulle Galleries (Editor), Godwin Bradbeer, Melbourne, 1999, (colour illus.). plate no. 2

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Prize winners’, pg. 15-39, Sydney, 2004, 26, 27 (colour illus.), 50, 52.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Drawing a winner: a decade of Dobell Prizes shows us how and why’, pg. 24-27, Newtown, Aug 2003, 25, 26.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Drawing the spotlight', pg. 18-19, Newtown, Jun 2002, 19.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 9, 30, 31 (colour illus.), 60.

Rebecca Lancashire., The Age, ‘The high achiever becomes top drawer’, Melbourne, 27 Jul 1998. page number unknown

Bernard Ryan, RMIT openline: the university newspaper, ‘The art of paradox’, pg. 2, Melbourne, Apr 1998, 2, 12 (colour illus., detail).

Myfanwy Warhurst., Inpress, ‘A body of work’, Melbourne, 24 Aug 1998. not paginated

Exhibition history (4)

Dobell Prize for Drawing 1998, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Mar 1998–19 Apr 1998

Dobell Drawing Prize 1998 (Touring show), The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 24 Jul 1998–06 Sep 1998

Dobell Prize for Drawing: the first ten years, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Sep 2004–30 Nov 2004

Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize: