Australia at Royal Academy and Paris Photo 2013

Thursday / Nov 21 / 2013

Le Petit Palais, as seen leaving Paris Photo in Le Grand Palais
Fig Le Petit Palais, as seen leaving Paris Photo in Le Grand Palais

This is my second year at Paris Photo. The atmosphere buzzed inside the Grand Palais, but I felt underwhelmed. The only two photographers who caught my eye were Josef Hoflehner and Dorothee Golz.

Josef Hoflehner's Nordsee (Germany, 2006)
Fig Josef Hoflehner’s Nordsee (Germany, 2006)

Heflehner is an Austrian photographer who was voted Nature Photographer of the Year 2007. He is known for his black-and-white landscape images, but the ones shown at Paris Photo were from his “Patience” collection. I especially love Nordsee (Germany, 2006), pictured above, and Bondi Baths (Sydney, Australia, 2011).

Dorothee Golz's Der Perlenohrring (2009)
Fig Dorothee Golz’s Der Perlenohrring (2009)

Fellow Austrian artist Dorothee Golz has created a digitally painted series in which the well-recognized faces from portraits by Renaissance and Dutch Masters are visualized on modern bodies. Last year I inquired about “The Pearl Earring” (2009) and part of me still regrets not purchasing it…

London's Royal Academy of Art
Fig London’s Royal Academy of Art

Next, I was in London and visited the Royal Academy of Arts, which was featuring the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, spanning more than 200 years from 1800 to the present day.

Ethel Carrick's Manly Beach-Summer Is Here (1913)
Fig Ethel Carrick’s Manly Beach-Summer Is Here (1913)

Considering we visited on one of the chilliest days on record in London, I was drawn to the Australian beach scenes, especially Ethel Carrick’s “Manly Beach-Summer Is Here” from 1913. The ban on daytime sea bathing was reversed in 1906. This depicts the Sydney crowd’s energy celebrating a, now typical, leisured but animated Australian way of life.

Max Dupain's Sunbaker (1937)
Fig Max Dupain’s Sunbaker (1937)

Max Dupain was celebrated as a modernist, and later a Surrealist, photographer. With its low-angle close-up and simple geometry, “Sunbaker” (1937) is an example of modernist photography. What better way to rest after a swim?