We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Life drawing 64



Peter Powditch


23 Mar 1942 – 13 Feb 2022

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil on ivory wove paper
    28.0 x 19.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r corner., pencil "Powditch 76".

    Purchased with funds provided by the Gil & Shay Docking Drawing Fund 2017
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Peter Powditch

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Peter Powditch

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Peter Powditch’s flat reductive canvasses, lithographs, sculptures and reliefs take their subjects – including landscape and the figure – from everyday life. One of his key themes in the 1960s and 70s was the female nude. Depicted partially concealed by a garment or towel, and often without a head or legs, Powditch’s nudes emphasised the anonymity and fleshy sexuality of their central figure. None are identifiable individuals but rather, represent types – the bikini-clad sun worshipper or towel-wrapped bather – that speak to a 1960s Australian conception of sexuality embodied in the nubile female form. Objects for the heterosexual male gaze, Powditch’s nudes reflected the permissive moral attitudes and youth cultures of their day.

    Powditch’s nudes were based on a strong foundation of life drawing, which the artist has practised in a methodical manner for decades. These drawings were made in the mid-1970s and remained in the artist’s studio until acquired by the Gallery. Rapidly executed from life, they reveal his skilful rendering of human mass and form and understanding of bodily movement. Less anonymous than the iconic nudes of his paintings and prints, they retain a sense of the model’s flesh and blood.

Other works by Peter Powditch

See all 12 works