Skip to main content

Geoffrey Graham
, 1941

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 48.0 x 35.2 cm, image: 46.0 x 34.0 cm)

Geoffrey Graham (1911-1986) was a Sydney-based surrealist artist. Work by Graham was included in the Realism and Surrealism exhibition in Gloucester, UK in 1938. His work Bellita, exhibited in the Sydney Contemporary Art Society's exhibition of 1940, was described by James Gleeson in his seminal article "What is Surrealism?": 'A fantastically gay group of beings circles interminably in a desert, beneath a black sky from which all hope has long since departed . . . The staccato thrust of forms . . . might well be the wind-broken limbs and antennae of some monstrous dead crustacean. It is a picture of the determined human gala defeated by the usages of monotony and despair.' Interest in Graham's drawings and etchings of bodies in 'psychological and physical torment' was revived by the National Gallery of Australia exhibition Surrealism: Revolution by Night in 1993. The National Gallery holds more than seventy of the artist's works.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.74