Skip to content

Collection

An image of Australian Venus by Rayner Hoff

Rayner Hoff

(United Kingdom, Australia 1894 – 1937)

Title
Australian Venus
Year
(circa 1927)
Media category
Sculpture
Materials used
Angaston marble
Dimensions

114.5 x 33.0 x 21.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Gift of Mr S.H. Ervin 1938
Accession number
6549
Location
Not on display
Further information

In Hoff's artistic practice, the body became the primary metaphor for a modern Australian identity, based on the classical perfections of the ancient Greek model, and imaged as a virile product of the nation’s outdoor environment. Australian Venus exemplifies Hoff’s ‘national body’. It presents the figure as a classically fragmented yet sensualised, naturalistic form, and imbued with a sexual tension with which Hoff defined the entire path of his sculptural oeuvre.

Bibliography (6)

Isobel Crombie, Body culture: Max Dupain, photography and Australian culture, 1919-1939, 'Are you an Australian Apollo?', pg. 100-128, Mulgrave, 2004, 118, 119 (colour illus.), 120.

Elizabeth Cross, The Naked and the Nude, 'The Naked and the Nude', pg. 16-29, Ballarat, 2008, 23, 89 (colour illus.), 133.

Deborah Edwards, 'This vital flesh': the sculpture of Rayner Hoff and his school, 'Australia, the new Greece: the body as nation', 30-51., Sydney, 1999, 31, 33 (colour illus.), 34, 38-39, 102. cat.no. 22

Deborah Edwards, Stampede of the Lower Gods: Classical Mythology in Australian Art, 'The New Greece / 'Delos of a coming Sun-god's race'', pg. 31-54, Sydney, Sep 1989, 40 (illus.), 65.

Deborah Edwards, Art and Australia (Vol. 24, No. 1), '"This vital flesh": the 1920s sculpture of Rayner Hoff', pg. 62-68, Sydney, Spring 1986, 63 (illus.), 65.

Liz Gibson, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Rayner Hoff / Arthur Murch', pg. 60-71, Sydney, 2002, 64 (colour illus.), 65, 69, 144, 147.

Exhibition history (6)

Sculpture of Rayner Hoff: Memorial Exhibition, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, Sydney, 19 May 1938–04 Jun 1938

Celebrity Choice - Sam Neill, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Jan 1987–08 Feb 1987

Stampede of the Lower Gods: Classical Mythology in Australian Art 1890's-1930's, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Oct 1989–26 Nov 1989

'This vital flesh': the sculpture of Rayner Hoff and his school, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Nov 1999–16 Jan 2000

Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003

The naked and the nude, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, 13 Sep 2008–07 Dec 2008