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An image of The fig tree, McMahons Point by Lloyd Rees

Lloyd Rees

(Australia 17 Mar 1895 – 02 Dec 1988)

The fig tree, McMahons Point
Other titles:
Fig tree - McMahon's Point
Fig tree, McMahon's Point
Fig tree, McMahons Pt.
McMahons Point Fig Tree
Place of origin
SydneyNew South WalesAustralia
Media category
Materials used
pencil on ivory wove paper

18.8 x 20.8 cm image; 22.2 x 22.1 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., pencil "L REES/ 1931".
Purchased 1955
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Lloyd Rees valued drawing highly and it was an integral part of his oeuvre. Indeed, through the 1930s it was almost his exclusive focus. In 1931 he moved to McMahon's Point, on the north shore of the harbour, where he made many drawings of views towards Circular Quay, Balmain, Goat Island and Ball's Head.

"The full measure of my highly detailed drawings of Sydney Harbour were done at McMahon's Point. It was drawing purely for the sake of drawing, for by now, I was well out of the swim of the art world ... Drawing was simply an obsession and I was completely absorbed in the discovery of form and composition. The drawings were by no means naturalistic in the sense of simply selecting a subject and drawing it, for there were things brought in and things left out. They were highly worked and I had an intense interest in the manipulation of them. I drew in the morning and then took the work home and looked at it in the afternoon and if I saw anything superfluous, I rubbed it out."
- Lloyd Rees 1985

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Bibliography (10)

Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 'Tangible Life Forms', pg. 12-13, Surry Hills, 01 Jun 2013-02 Jun 2013, 13.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, (Lloyd Rees), ‘List of works: drawings’, pp 11-16, Sydney, 1942, 13. titled 'Fig tree, McMahons Pt.'; 24

Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1955 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1955, 12. 35

Helen Campbell, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Out of Sydney: city and hinterlands', pp 185-186, Sydney, 2000, 196 (colour illus.), 301.

Dennis Colsey, Hand and eye - a survey of artists materials and techniques: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1970, 'Introduction: artists' materials and techniques', Sydney, 1969, (illus.). 16

Renée Free, Lloyd Rees, ‘Part 1: Sydney: 1917-42’, pp 23-50, Melbourne, 1972, 45 (illus.). titled 'McMahons Point Fig Tree'; D114; plate no. 36

Lou Klepac, Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees, 'Introduction', pp 2-4, Sydney, 2001, 7 (illus.), 8.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Lloyd Rees Drawings - Centenary Retrospective, 'The thirties', pp 43-64, Sydney, 1995, 43, 44 (illus.). 33

Sydney Ure Smith, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 42], ‘Pencil drawings by Lloyd Rees’, Sydney, Feb 1932. plate no. 1

Roland Wakelin, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'The artistic development of Lloyd Rees', pp 490-492, Sydney, Oct 1969, 495 (illus.). 'Lloyd Rees special number'

Exhibition history (8)

Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1931), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 05 Sep 1931–02 Oct 1931

Lloyd Rees (1942), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Aug 1942–30 Aug 1942

The B.J. Waterhouse private collection at the Grosvenor Galleries, Grosvenor Gallery, Sydney, 14 Sep 1955–23 Sep 1955

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1955, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Feb 1956–29 Feb 1956

Hand and eye - a survey of artists' materials and techniques: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1970, Various venues, 1970–1970

Lloyd Rees Drawings (1995-96):

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees (2001), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 10 Feb 2001–08 Jul 2001