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Australian art

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Just another picture postcard



David van Nunen


1952 -


In 1980, David van Nunen was awarded a six-month tenure as artist-in-residence at the Power Studio, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, under the aegis of the University of Sydney. After studies at Newcastle Art School and a brief trip to New York in 1979, this was the artist's first journey to Europe. Assisted by a VAB travel grant, van Nunen spent six months in the Paris studio, where 'Just another picture postcard' was painted.

In Paris the artist was enchanted by the forests of Versailles and travelled to Giverny with fellow artist David Bromley to experience Monet's gardens and studio. He was also captivated by the striking forms of the city's cathedrals, including Notre Dame, and the Bateau-Mouche barges which navigate the River Seine. The artist absorbed the work of Brancusi, Leger and furthered his intense study of Cubism, in particular the work of Picasso, whom he has revered throughout his career.

Whilst overseas, van Nunen was also struck by the shape and design of aerograms, their triangular folded forms inspiring a series of works, including 'Just another picture postcard', which use repeated diagonal structures and 'an optically dazzling compression of colour, shape and gesture', to create a dynamic surface pattern pulsating with movement.

Exhibited at Robin Gibson gallery upon his return in 1981, 'Just another picture postcard' was painted before the artist had turned 30 and demonstrates the consummate colourist he is.


Place where the work was made

Paris France



Media category


Materials used

oil, synthetic polymer paint, graphite on linen canvas


91.4 x 213.0 cm stretcher

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. to l.r. verso, black crayon ".../ DAVID VAN NUNEN '81".


Gift of Michael Hobbs 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

David van Nunen

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Nancy Borlase., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Power studio refreshes', Sydney, 06 Jun 1981.

Robin Gibson Gallery, David van Nunen: paintings and drawings, Sydney, 1981. 11; priced $800