- Media category
- Materials used
- gelatin silver photograph
- 30.4 x 29.0 cm image/sheet
- Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. image, pencil "Max Dupain '39" and u.l. verso, ink "...c1939/ Max Dupain".
- Purchased 1981
- Not on display
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Max Dupain was one of Australia's most important photographers and creator of some of our most iconic images. Throughout his long career and in his chosen subject matter, Dupain celebrated Australian culture and identity. As a distinguished exponent of modernist photography, his work is noted for its formal use of space, shape and tone. During the 1930s he was influenced by a photographic style developed in Europe in the late 1920s called New Photography. In content and form, New Photography was a substantial move away from the soft tones of Pictorialism, a style that had been popular in previous decades with Dupain and other photographers, particularly Harold Cazneaux. The new style was characterised by its emphasis on unusual angles, perspectives and sharp contrasting tones.
Together with ‘Sunbaker’ 1937, also in the collection, ‘Form at Bondi’ represents the shifts in Dupain’s practice from private snapshot to public domain, from modernist experimentation to a determined recording of Australian life. It clearly reveals Dupain’s interest in the individual body as a metaphor for social wellbeing and an exemplar of pure form.
By the late 1940s, Dupain had left many of his earlier experiments behind and he wrote: ‘Modern photography must do more than entertain, it must incite thought and by its clear statements of actuality, cultivate a sympathetic understanding of men and women and the life they create and live.’
Shown in 6 exhibitions
On the Beach, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Dec 1982–28 Dec 1982
Four Photographers, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Jun 1990–19 Aug 1990
Fine and mostly sunny: photographs from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Sep 1991–01 Dec 1991
Max Dupain - An Appreciation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Aug 1992–30 Aug 1992
On the Beach: with Whiteley and fellow Australian artists, The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 01 Mar 2003–29 Jun 2003
Bondi: a biography, Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 17 Dec 2005–19 Mar 2006
Referenced in 4 publications
Sandra Byron, Fine and Mostly Sunny: Photographs from the collection, Sydney, 1991. catalogue no: 23
Rose Peel, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Australian postwar photo-documentary', pg.189-207, Sydney, 2007, 195.
Andrew Sayers, Australian art, 'Order and transcendence: art between the wars 1919-39', pg. 120-139, Oxford, 2001, 137 (illus.). plate no. 78
Linda Slutzkin, On the beach, Sydney, 1982, 38 (illus.). catalogue no: 38
Other works by Max Dupain
See all 449 works