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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 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


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