Max Dupain, Surrealist Study, 1938
An exhibition at the NGV at Federation Square includes Surrealist photography. Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes is a large survey of Australian art with 250 works in a range of media, both historical and contemporary. “Surrealism shook up the staid Australian art world of the 1930s and attracted a generation of young radicals who went on to become some of Australia’s most esteemed artists.”
There are some beautiful Max Dupain prints from the 1930s, made during his surrealist phase:
“Max Dupain was one of the few photographers in Australia to fully explore Surrealism, and he became the leading portrait photographer in Sydney in the 1930s and 1940s. Dupain greatly admired the work of the American-French Dadaist and Surrealist photographer Man Ray, which appeared both in art magazines as well as popular magazines such as American Vogue. Like Ray, Dupain experimented with solarisation, double exposure and photomontage techniques, combining the human figure with natural forms, such as shells, and mechanical components.” (NGV wall labels)
Contemporary artists also work in the surrealist mode and they are represented by artists such as Zoé Croggon and Pat Brassington.
Zoé Croggon, Fonteyn, 2012
Pat Bassington, Voicing, 2001
Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes runs at NGV Australia, Federation Square until January 31.