Max Dupain and Anne Zahalka

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The Modern Art Movement evolved around the turn of the late 1800’s through the turn of the 20th century, to the late 1900’s. Visual Art in Western society moved from naturalism to abstraction during this time, and emphasis was placed on the Design Elements and Principles rather than representation. Modern Art was influenced by the invention of Photography as it freed artists from the constraints of realism.

Teacher’s Notes:
“The Sunbaker”, 1939, Max Dupain.
Max Dupain’s image is a documentary style photograph which has become an Australian Icon. The image represents all we believe is associated with the bronzed Aussie. This is a relaxed image of the strong sculptured Adonis, comfortable, if not commanding in his environment, lying in the sun. The identity, we are left in no doubt, is masculine. The composition and framing show the ‘beautiful chiselled body’ dominating the landscape, in a care free, effortless manner. The image is represented as a true document of life, an everyday scene captured on Dupain’s Rolliflex. In true Modernist style Dupain has used the full frame for this image which also emphasises the ‘truth’ behind this image. The black and white fine grain film gives us a ‘true reality’ and once again reinforces the message that this is a ‘natural’ image. The Sunbaker has run out of the surf and flopped down in the sand, Dupain was there to capture this ‘moment in time’. The beads of water from the ocean are still glistening on the sunbaker’s skin. Dupain has carefully composed the image using the design elements and principles to ensure the focal point of the image is the triangular shape of the man which emphasises the feeling of strength and prosperity of his physique. The low camera angle and triangle composition all work to produce a well balanced, aesthetically pleasing image.

The Sunbather, No 2, Anne Zahalka
Anne Zahalka’s image is a highly constructed artwork which makes no attempt to convince...
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