The writer (Dr Michael Haerdter/director, Künstlerhaus Bethanien)
14 May 1957 -
As part of a generation of Australian women artists who came to the fore in the early 1980s, Anne Zahalka’s practice has always been concerned with questioning dominant myths and cultural constructs. The broad sweep of Zahalka’s oeuvre has often been underpinned by a common strategy: the world in her images appears as theatre where place, gender and national identity are questioned.
In 1986 Zahalka undertook a residency at the Künstlerhaus in Berlin where she produced the series ‘Resemblance’. This group of eleven, highly orchestrated portraits of her contemporaries, quotes widely recognised conventions from 15th-17th century European painting. In ‘The writer…,’ the then director of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien is posed to resemble a 16th century European intellectual as though painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. As a portrait of a real person and a commentary on representation, the work alludes to the ease with which identities can be arranged and re-arranged.
Artist proof from an edition of 10 + 2 APs
81.5 x 81.5 cm image (sight); 85.4 x 85.4 x 3.7 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the artist 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© Anne Zahalka. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka, portraits 1987-2007:
- Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne 13 Mar 2007–12 May 2007
- Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool 15 Sep 2007–28 Oct 2007
- National Portrait Gallery [Parliamentary Zone], Canberra 23 Nov 2007–31 Mar 2008
- Ipswich Art Gallery, Ipswich 17 May 2008–27 Jul 2008
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 29 Aug 2008–12 Oct 2008
- Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre 06 Dec 2008–01 Feb 2009
- Artspace Mackay, Queensland 06 Feb 2009–22 Mar 2009
- Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville 24 Apr 2009–21 Jun 2009
- Riddoch Art Gallery, Mt Gambier 04 Jul 2009–02 Aug 2009
- Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, Wangaratta 26 Sep 2009–25 Oct 2009
- Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport 06 Nov 2009–31 Dec 2009
- Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale 30 Jan 2010–28 Feb 2010
(On loan to private collection), Private Collection, Mar 2010–Sep 2011
Referenced in 1 publication
Unknown, Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka portraits 1987-2007, 2007, (illus.).