Iconic Australian photographer collection up for auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th June, 2016
The auction of estate photographs by renowned Australian photographer Max Dupain (1911-1992) from noon Sunday June 19 will earmark the official opening of Mossgreen’s new Sydney premises at Woollahra.
Housed in the Bond, the iconic 1880s heritage building and former Masonic Hall at 36-40 Queen Street in the heart of Sydney’s art district, Mossgreen is situated on all three levels and will focus on the auction of single owner collections and gallery exhibitions – the first of which is a commercial display of works by New Zealand 2017 Venice Biennale representative Lisa Reihana.
The auction features 500 original photographs direct from Dupain’s archives, a man regarded as one of Australia’s most significant photographers who created some of the 20th century’s most iconic imagery, and offers auction goers a unique opportunity to acquire a genuine piece of Australian history.
Estimates range from $700 to $30,000 and include the most complete selection of images from his acclaimed Beach Series, featuring the famous Sunbaker, 1937 and Bondi, 1939.
Born in Sydney, Dupain was fascinated by the people, architecture and cities that illustrated everyday life and, as Australia underwent the rapid change and development of modern times, he took great care to document it.
Some of his most famous images from these studies include Meat Queue 1946, At Newport 1952, View through Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House with Tilers 1972.
Dupain also was inspired by European modernist photographers and was considered the only photographer of his generation to contribute to the Surrealist movement in Australia.
His Surrealist experimentations with lurid juxtapositions through the use of solarisation, double exposure, photomontage and optical disintegration effects is evident in such works as Revolving Nude, Super-imposed Breasts and City at Night and Solarised Nude and Rays of Light 1935.
Dupain’s extensive collection and oeuvre is further demonstrated in his landscape and early pastoral works including Late Afternoon Pastoral 1932, Sound and Fury Warriewood 1948 and Mosman Bay at Dusk 1940.
A highly regarded portrait photographer, his collection also includes photographs of key Australian artists such as Norman Lindsay 1936, Russell Drysdale 1960s and Patrick White 1987.
Mossgreen’s deputy director of Australian art Anna Hombsch will give a free public talk about the Max Dupain collection on the premises from 3pm Saturday June 18.