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The Similarities Between The Angry Penguins And Social Realists In Australian Art

1176 words - 5 pages

The growing uncertainty within the art world, with a difference in conservative ideals and a growing indulgence in abstract art led a group of artists to counter the promotion of abstract art over figurative work. The collection of artist made the Antipodean Group, the main focus was dissolving the promotion of abstract art, and its members.During the time of the Antipodean Group Australia was in a time of renewed prosperity, as well as materialism and mechanism. There was a surge in the televisions purchased and people began to adopt the rock’n’roll attitude, with a growing rebellious youth being established within society. There was also a period of mass immigration after the war bringing economic prosperity. The United States was also becoming a major influence on the Australian lifestyle with consumer products and recognisable icons being imported. This prosperity was contrasted to the state of the indigenous people of Australia, Antipodean Group felt that this was not documented in abstract painting.Prior to the formation of the Antipodean Group in 1959, there was the rise of abstraction within Australian Art. Although temporarily masked behind the Social Realist era abstraction had continued from the late 30s and 40s given a second wave of artists within the 1950s. The motivation and inspiration however remained the same, as artists were captivated by many of the styles and techniques being used in Europe at the time.An example of the abstraction is Roy de Maistre, famous for employing the disciplines of music and colour and combining both on one scale. This left for works full of explosive colours and explored a visual scale rather than a musical one. The works were abstract in its purest form such an example is Arrested phrase from Haydn Trio in orange-red minor. The music spectrum seen didn’t form an emotional response and were perceived by the Antipodeans as “bland and pretentious”, and the subject matter did little to involve the viewer. The Antipodeans didn’t appreciate the lack of understanding to the surroundings and people. Where de Maistre was fantasised with colour and music the Antipodeans saw more potential on people as the subject matter.Another significant artist was Frank Hinder, who was part of the second wave of abstraction. Hinder became was interested in the development and illusion of movement and how it can be displayed, following the ideas of the Italian Futurists. Again Hinder was influenced by European ideas; such can be seen in Subway Escalator, on the right. Brief figures are seen however are distorted, fragmented and blurred in what becomes a haze to the viewers eye. The world has been clearly changed into geometric shapes and then clustered together, similar to the Cubists. This is another reason the Antipodeans were against abstraction. At the time art from Australia could easily have been mistaken for something produced in Europe.As such many of these artists fuelled the...

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