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George Baldessin is one of Australia’s preeminent artists. During his lifetime he was considered on par with Brett Whiteley, with both artists eschewing the dominant mode of abstraction in favour of lyrical, figurative imagery.
Like Whiteley, Baldessin’s work explored existentialism, sexuality, boundaries and split personality. Performers recur, twisting into shapes, their faces cloaked in shadow. A sense of mystery percolates. This underlies The Bather I, a highly stylised portrait of a bather, hair spiked with water. The bather folds over herself, all limbs and sly eyes.
“What am I trying to express? – I think human weakness through the vulnerable figure without extracting its dignity no matter how uncertain… this is why distortion and the element of drama [are] ever present” – George Baldessin
Baldessin has been honoured with retrospective exhibitions at Heide Museum, the Art Gallery of NSW and alongside Brett Whiteley at the National Gallery of Victoria. He is represented in all regional and many state collections, as well as New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Perhaps however, Baldessin is best known for his sumptuous brass pears which stand guard to the National Gallery of Australia.
The Bather I is a museum-quality work with an impression represented at the National Gallery of Australia. It was also exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2018 for Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions, curated by Sasha Grishin.
For collectors of important works on paper and modern art, The Bathers I is a formidable find. George BALDESSIN (1939 - 1978)'The Bather I' 1978lithograph on paperEdition of 300Image Size: 57 x 57 cm Dimensions: 76 x 57 cm Signed: Editioned below image, it was editioned by Druckma Press in accordance with an initialed Bon A Tirer print. A note is attached to verso that describes the work as unsigned.Comes with Letter of Provenance
LITERATURE:This work was featured in a review of Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions.RELATED WORKS:An Artist Proof impression of this work is represented at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Accession no.: 84.1306.
EXHIBITIONS:An impression of this work was exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria's 2018 exhibition Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions curated by Sasha Grishin.
(c) George Baldessin / Copyright Agency 2024
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