The fig tree, McMahons Point
17 Mar 1895 - 02 Dec 1988
Lloyd Rees valued drawing highly and it was an integral part of his oeuvre. Indeed, through the 1930s it was almost his exclusive focus. In 1931 he moved to McMahon's Point, on the north shore of the harbour, where he made many drawings of views towards Circular Quay, Balmain, Goat Island and Ball's Head.
"The full measure of my highly detailed drawings of Sydney Harbour were done at McMahon's Point. It was drawing purely for the sake of drawing, for by now, I was well out of the swim of the art world ... Drawing was simply an obsession and I was completely absorbed in the discovery of form and composition. The drawings were by no means naturalistic in the sense of simply selecting a subject and drawing it, for there were things brought in and things left out. They were highly worked and I had an intense interest in the manipulation of them. I drew in the morning and then took the work home and looked at it in the afternoon and if I saw anything superfluous, I rubbed it out."
- Lloyd Rees 1985
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
Fig tree - McMahon's Point
Fig tree, McMahon's Point
Fig tree, McMahons Pt.
McMahons Point Fig Tree
pencil on ivory wove paper
18.8 x 20.8 cm image; 22.2 x 22.1 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., pencil "L REES/ 1931".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 9 exhibitions
Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1931), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 05 Sep 1931–02 Oct 1931
Lloyd Rees (1942), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Aug 1942–30 Aug 1942
The B.J. Waterhouse private collection at the Grosvenor Galleries, Grosvenor Gallery, Sydney, 14 Sep 1955–23 Sep 1955
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1955, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Feb 1956–29 Feb 1956
Lloyd Rees Drawings (1995-96):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Mar 1995–14 May 1995
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst Regional Council, Bathurst 09 Jun 1995–16 Jul 1995
- Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat 01 Sep 1995–15 Oct 1995
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Nov 1995–01 Jan 1996
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Launceston 24 Jan 1996–11 Mar 1996
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees (2001), The Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills, 10 Feb 2001–08 Jul 2001
Painting with Pencil - Lloyd Rees: Sydney Drawings 1930-36, Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 12 Dec 2015–10 Apr 2016
Referenced in 10 publications
Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 'Tangible Life Forms', pg. 12-13, Sydney, 01 Jun 2013-02 Jun 2013, 13.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, (Lloyd Rees), ‘List of works: drawings’, pp 11-16, Sydney, 1942, 13. titled 'Fig tree, McMahons Pt.'; cat.no. 24
Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1955 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1955, 12. cat.no. 35
Helen Campbell, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Out of Sydney: city and hinterlands', pp 185-186, Sydney, 2000, 196 (colour illus.), 301.
Dennis Colsey, Hand and eye - a survey of artists materials and techniques: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1970, 'Introduction: artists' materials and techniques', Sydney, 1969, (illus.). cat.no. 16
Renée Free, Lloyd Rees, ‘Part 1: Sydney: 1917-42’, pp 23-50, Melbourne, 1972, 45 (illus.). titled 'McMahons Point Fig Tree'; cat.no. D114; plate no. 36
Lou Klepac, Affinities: Brett Whiteley & Lloyd Rees, 'Introduction', pp 2-4, Sydney, 2001, 7 (illus.), 8.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Lloyd Rees Drawings - Centenary Retrospective, 'The thirties', pp 43-64, Sydney, 1995, 43, 44 (illus.). cat.no. 33
Sydney Ure Smith, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 42], ‘Pencil drawings by Lloyd Rees’, Sydney, Feb 1932. plate no. 1
Roland Wakelin, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'The artistic development of Lloyd Rees', pp 490-492, Sydney, Oct 1969, 495 (illus.). 'Lloyd Rees special number'