Auction: Sydney, Sunday 19 June 2016


“Modern photography must do more than entertain, it must incite thought and by its clear statements of actuality, cultivate a sympathetic understanding of men and women and the life they live and create.”
Max Dupain

Photo credit: Courtesy Robert McFarlane

Widely regarded as one of this country's most significant contributors to art of the modern era, Max Dupain's imagery resonates with a collective Australian consciousness like few others.

For many, Dupain's photographs define Australian beach life – his famous Sunbaker, 1937 captures the carefree optimism of the time, a few years before WWII – but it was not only beach culture which interested Dupain, he also captured everyday life; people, architecture, cities and landscapes, which he documented as the country underwent the rapid change and development of modern times.

Dupain was also inspired by the work of European modernist photographers, and was one of the few of his generation to experiment with Surrealism. Heavily influenced by Man Ray, he played with double exposure, montage, rotation and combination printing to create powerful optical illusions, lurid juxtapositions and abstract forms.

This auction, which features 500 original photographs, including the most complete selection of images from Dupain's acclaimed Beach Series, presents an exceptionally rare opportunity to acquire some of the most enduring and captivating images of the 20th century, directly from the estate of one of this country's most important photographers.