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


Form at Bondi



Max Dupain


22 Apr 1911 – 27 Jul 1992

  • Details

    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

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Max Dupain

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.’

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 6 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Max Dupain

See all 449 works