Hornchurch, London, England 1929 – Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia 2014
Stripperama no. 3
Luddenham, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, alkyd paint on composition board
Richard Larter has enlivened the Australian art scene for many years. Having moved from England to Australia in 1962 with his wife and muse Pat (an artist in her own right), Larter quickly established himself as an artist of national significance and has been widely collected for many years by institutions and private collectors alike.
Larter’s practice is marked by dedicated experimentation with techniques and subject matter. In this painting he uses syringes to apply the paint to the canvas creating skeins of lively linear drawing. A woman is repeated successively across the canvas in narrow strips, reminiscent of a sequence in film or a strip of negatives. She appears in various states of dress and undress, fully clothed at the left and utterly naked at the right. The visual pun of depicting a woman stripping in strips is demonstrative of Larter’s innovative and humorous approach.
The Stripperama paintings were inspired by visits that Richard and Pat Larter paid to strip shows in London. Later the couple would enjoy routines performed by Pat sending up the genre. Their individual and collective works investigated notions of stereotypes and censorship in relation to the human body in ways that were both engaged and at times playful. This particular Stripperama painting is a key example of Larter’s output epitomising his idiosyncratic approach of the early 1960s when his adventurous works struck a chord with the spirit of the times.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014