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


Man of paper VII



Godwin Bradbeer

New Zealand, Australia

1950 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Melbourne Victoria Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    graphite, chinagraph, charcoal, pastel, scraping out on white wove paper
    133.2 x 110.6 cm sheet ; 150.5 x 128.0 x 2.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated u.r.corner, pencil "1995-98 Goodwin Bradbeer".

    Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 1998
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Godwin Bradbeer

    Reproduction requests

    Dobell Prize for Drawing
    Winner - 1998
    Artist information
    Godwin Bradbeer

    Works in the collection


  • About

    ‘Stark, simple, spartan, sublime, if ever possible. This I want my paintings and my drawings to be.’ (Godwin Bradbeer, 1998). 'Man of paper VII' was partly inspired by a character in Martin Scorsese’s film 'Raging Bull' (1980), about a struggling, middle-aged boxer, and partly by a mature age student of the artist, an ex-boxer, who became his studio assistant. Bradbeer was struck by the vulnerability of a classic boxing pose this man made one day, and made several versions of the subject. ‘It was like he was crying, an image like a cowering, cornered animal.’ (Rebecca Lancashire, 1998).

    Bradbeer works on his drawings over extended periods of time, returning to each again and again. They are built up over an anatomical substructure in many layers of graphite, chinagraph, pastel and charcoal, each layer scraped back
    or polished with a spoon.

    'I work with layers, like a layer of anatomy, layers of translucent flesh, of blacks and silver. For instance, in the use of various whites … so that the underdrawing tends to have an ivory cast to it and the overdrawing has a luminosity, so one looks solid, the other more diaphanous …' (Godwin Bradbeer, 1999).

    This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1998 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1998.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 8 publications

    • Bulle Galleries (Editor), Godwin Bradbeer, Melbourne, 1999, (colour illus.). plate no. 2

    • Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Prize winners’, pg. 15-39, Sydney, 2004, 26, 27 (colour illus.), 50, 52.

    • Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Drawing a winner: a decade of Dobell Prizes shows us how and why’, pg. 24-27, Sydney, Aug 2003, 25, 26.

    • Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Drawing the spotlight', pg. 18-19, Sydney, Jun 2002, 19.

    • Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 9, 30, 31 (colour illus.), 60.

    • Rebecca Lancashire., The Age, ‘The high achiever becomes top drawer’, Melbourne, 27 Jul 1998. page number unknown

    • Bernard Ryan, RMIT openline: the university newspaper, ‘The art of paradox’, pg. 2, Melbourne, Apr 1998, 2, 12 (colour illus., detail).

    • Myfanwy Warhurst., Inpress, ‘A body of work’, Melbourne, 24 Aug 1998. not paginated