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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

In line with decisions made by the National Cabinet as communicated by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has closed to the public until further notice to help protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the State. More information

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Title

Man in the waves

2019


Artist

Michael Armitage

Kenya, England

1984 -


About

'Last year, I wanted to make a painting that was riffing off the idea of ‘the promised land’. I had thought about making two paintings, one of a man and one of a woman. Paintings by Courbet of women in waves began to interest me but I couldn’t find an image that would work for my painting. When I came to the Art Gallery of New South Wales I saw, for the first time, Ernst Kirchner’s 'Three bathers' 1913. It is such a strange painting... The figures’ bodies are subtly distorted, with a strange exotic floating flower that make the waves seem like large banana leaves. The composition is deceptively simple with the arch of the waves providing a rhythm across the painting. I had wanted to link the depiction of Utopia and the promise of young fertile women to the idea of sexual promise in a young virile man from the tropics (a slice of paradise!) and the 'Three bathers' gave me a way to do this.' - Michael Armitage


Details


Date

2019


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on Lubugo bark cloth


Dimensions

220.0 x 170.0 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. verso, blue felt tipped pen ".../ MArmitage/ 2019".


Credit

Mollie and Jim Gowing Bequest Fund and the Lawrence Hinchliffe Bequest Fund 2019


Location

Not on display


Accession number

201.2019


Artist information

Michael Armitage

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Natasha Bullock (Curator), Michael Armitage: the promised land, Sydney, 2019, 113 (colour illus.).