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An image of Philadelphia by Robert Klippel

Robert Klippel

(Australia, United States of America 19 Jun 1920 – 19 Jun 2001)

Media categories
Mixed media, Collage
Materials used
photomontage on paper on canvas

151.5 x 242.5 cm

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, black ink "Robert Klippel 1979".
Purchased 1980
Accession number
© Robert Klippel Estate
Not on display
Further information

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

Bibliography (9)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Robert Klippel: collage and drawings, 1947-1983, Sydney, 1984. 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, Acton, Sep 2000, 23.

Barry Pearce, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Australian Art', pg. 5-26, Sydney, 1981, 17 (illus.). 23

David Tunny., Look, 'The sculptor's studio: Robert Klipel', Heidelberg, May 1990, 12 (illus.).

Exhibition history (7)

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, Sydney, 19 Sep 2014–02 Nov 2014