Max DUPAIN, Homage to D.H. Lawrence Enlarge 1 /1


Australia 1911 – 1992

Homage to D.H. Lawrence 1937 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: signed & titled verso, pencil, "3/'Homage to D.H. Lawrence'/- Max Dupain -"
Dimensions: printed image 45.8 h x 33.9 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1982
Accession No: NGA 82.1094

Dupain admired vitalist philosophies, which argued that modern identity had become fragmented and asserted the importance of the integration of body and emotion, of sensual and emotional experience. He was attracted to the work of British writer D.H. Lawrence, especially his insistence on the ‘thingness’ of things as a way of embodying a properly integrated mind and body. This photograph uses surrealist juxtaposition to draw together a copy of Lawrence’s Selected poems, a flywheel (representing the modern world) and a classical bust, recalling the idealised relationship of natural and sensual worlds in ancient Greece and Rome. Other images incorporating classical busts appeared in the pages of the Modern Photography annuals, but Dupain makes them his own, lifted above mere pastiche.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra