Australia 1911 – 1992
Advertisement for Hoover
1937 Creation Notes: 1939 elsewhere?
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
This photograph was taken for one of the Dupain studio’s regular clients, Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA). AWA’s art director was Olga Sharp, a progressive photographer herself and a good friend of Cotton and Dupain. This classic Dupain advertising image focusses as much on the modernist promise offered by the Hoover as it does on the way the camera confronts the world of terms in light. It has much in common with Cotton’s pictures from the time: see her photograph Glasses. This image demonstrates Dupain’s, and in turn Cotton’s, interest in photographs of shadows by the great Hungarian photographer André Kertész, including still lifes showing forks and spectacles casting long shadows, which were well known by the mid-1930s. One of Kertész’s shadow-photographs was published in the British anthology Modern Photography (1931), a copy of which Dupain owned.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra