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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Geoffrey Graham

1941
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 48.0 cm x 35.2 cm, image: 46.0 cm 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
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Max Dupain OBE (age 30 in 1941)

Geoffrey Graham (age 30 in 1941)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Rex Dupain (15 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Sydney Ure Smith
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Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Geoffrey Graham
Geoffrey Graham
Geoffrey Graham
Geoffrey Graham

The mind's eye

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2017

Christopher Chapman takes a trip through the doors of perception, arriving at the junction of surrealism and psychoanalysis.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency