Saturday, February 11, 2012

Max Dupain

Max Dupain was one of our most iconic modernist photographers (1911 - 1992). His unaffected and pared back style encompassed a world which stretched from the beach, to the theatre, and his role as a visual social historian. His iconic 'Sunbaker' image was taken in the early 1930's and yet it seems to be the most well-known of all of his works. He possessed a rare clarity in the way he lensed his subjects. They appear natural and at rest as opposed to the heavy (but nevertheless beautiful) propping by photographers such as Horst. I guess I'm really attracted to images which give you a sensory experience by simply reflecting on the shot. 

A friend of mine has the following photo in his home. It's a statement on postwar Australia when meat rationing was still being implemented and all the bleakness and pain of war is etched on the faces of the women. The power of this image is undeniable and yet it still allows the viewer to reflect on the context of the photo. It's a shame that more of Dupain's works are not given the same exposure as his beach images. I have been told the Art Gallery of NSW has a good representation of his works. 


  1. Kim's at Toowoon Bay has an amazing collection of his works also.

  2. Better get myself there quick smart for a look. Best

  3. Oh you should - fabulous place for a weekend away(the Max Dupain photos are a bonus!)