(England, Australia 07 Feb 1912 – 29 Jun 1981)
76.5 x 60.9 cm stretcher; 87.8 x 72.5 cm frame
In 1951 Russell Drysdale travelled to Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland where he developed an interest in Indigenous Australians as a subject for his work. Many of the paintings he produced during this time depict Aboriginal subjects in urban and rural settings, and reveal the artist’s objective compassion toward the people he met and painted. These works formed a significant social comment on the sense of displacement experienced by Indigenous people during the early 1950s in Australia.
'Aboriginal stockmen' emanates from this period and presents two young Indigenous Australian stockmen standing side-by-side in a photographic-type format. Portraying the young men at a close proximity – in comparison to related works, such as 'Group of Aborigines' (1953) – the painting establishes a more intimate connection between its subject and the viewer.
Macquarie Galleries, Russell Drysdale, 'Catalogue', Sydney, 1953, n.pag.. cat.no. 14
Russell Drysdale (1953), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 18 Nov 1953–04 Dec 1953