Spanning from 1936 until 1981, the exhibition features works from the Holmes à Court Collection, which examine the many aspects of life in Australia during this time. The exhibition includes the work of William Boissevain, Noel Counihan, Robert Dickerson, Wiliam Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Herbert McClintock, Edward Pagram, Peter Purves-Smith, Harald Vike, Brett Whiteley and James Wigley.
This selection of works explores the complexity of human life and emotion, the relationship between mother and child, working class life and social injustice.
From people in the Perth library to passengers on a night tram, Halrald Vike’s character studies from the 1940s portray working class people engaged in daily life, unaware of the attention of the artist.
Alternatively, Noel Counihan’s social relist works reflect his concerns for social justice and display an exceptional understanding of human emotion and expression. As an important figure Australian social realism, along with Josl Bergner, Counihan expressed his opinions through works produced between 1954 and 1979, in a variety of mediums ranging from delicate charcoal drawing to bold linocuts and paintings.
The stylistic simplicity of Robert Dickerson’s portraits capture a sense of the human feelings or emotion he is portraying while Williams Dobell’s, The Charlady provides an intimate analysis of his subject, being not only a portrait of a woman, but a glimpse of her life and character.
Together, the works in this exhibtion examine Australian society, penetrating beyond portraiture to capture various apects of humanity.