Australia, United States of America
19 Jun 1920 - 19 Jun 2001
This collage is made from photographs taken from a nineteenth century book containing hundreds of finely detailed drawings of machines. Klippel cut and assembled the work, beginning with the vertical forms and building up the landscape section. The title 'Philadelphia' is taken from the frequent appearance of that name on the machine parts. In the late nineteenth century Philadelphia was the centre of an important industrial area in the United States of America. Klippel kept the name partly because of its mechanical associations and partly because of associations with works by Duchamp and Cézanne he had seen in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
An overwhelming surrealist/mechanist landscape, it is the largest and most important collage Klippel had so far produced, and a key work in the Gallery's representation of his art.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
photomontage on paper on canvas
151.5 x 242.5 cm sheet; 155.5 x 246.3 x 3.2 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, black ink "Robert Klippel 1979".
© Estate of Robert Klippel
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981
Robert Klippel: collage and drawings 1947-1983 (1983-84), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Nov 1983–03 Jan 1984
The sculptor's studio: Robert Klippel, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Feb 1990–24 Jun 1990
Dead Sun, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Oct 1997–09 Nov 1997
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Robert Klippel: a tribute exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Aug 2002–13 Oct 2002
Watters Gallery: 50th anniversary exhibition, S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, 19 Sep 2014–02 Nov 2014
Art of parts: collage and assemblage from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Sep 2016–13 Nov 2016
Referenced in 9 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Robert Klippel: collage and drawings, 1947-1983, Sydney, 1984. cat.no. 147
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Dead Sun, Sydney, 1997.
Deborah Edwards, Robert Klippel: large wood sculptures and collages, 'Robert Klippel - Large Wood Sculptures and Collages', pg. 7-35, Sydney, 1995, 26 (illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Robert Klippel, 'Scaled to nature: Sydney 1970s-80s', pg. 134-186, Sydney, 2002, 138, 139 (illus., detail), 141, 143, 167 (illus.), 257.
James Gleeson, Robert Klippel, 'Plenum: Sydney 1976-82', pg. 381-460, Kensington, 1983, 447 (illus.). LS 108
Brian Ladd, The sculptor's studio: Robert Klippel, Sydney, 1990, 4 (illus.).
Humphrey McQueen, Art Monthly Australia, 'Positions vacant', pg. 21-23, Canberra, Sep 2000, 23.
Barry Pearce, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Australian Art', pg. 5-26, Sydney, 1981, 17 (illus.). cat.no. 23
David Tunny., Look, 'The sculptor's studio: Robert Klipel', Heidelberg, May 1990, 12 (illus.).