‘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.
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
© Godwin Bradbeer
Dobell Prize for Drawing (discontinued)
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Dobell Prize for Drawing 1998, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Mar 1998–19 Apr 1998
Dobell Drawing Prize 1998 (Touring show), The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 24 Jul 1998–06 Sep 1998
Dobell Prize for Drawing: the first ten years, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Sep 2004–30 Nov 2004
Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize:
- Grafton Regional Gallery 15 Feb 2013–24 Mar 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 30 Mar 2013–05 May 2013
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 05 Jul 2013–18 Aug 2013
- National Art School, Darlinghurst 29 Aug 2013–06 Oct 2013
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 18 Oct 2013–24 Nov 2013
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 11 Apr 2014–18 May 2014
Referenced in 8 publications
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.
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.
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
Godwin Bradbeer, Melbourne, 1999, (colour illus.). plate no. 2
The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Prize winners’, pg. 15-39, Sydney, 2004, 26, 27 (colour illus.), 50, 52.