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Peter Porter

Tony Clark

synthetic polymer paint and permanent marker on canvas (support: 101.5 cm x 76.0 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Peter Porter OAM (1929–2010), poet and critic, moved from Brisbane to London in 1951 at age 22. His work as an advertising copywriter influenced his early poetry, lucidly evoking the culture of the late 1950s and early 1960s. British poet Stephen Spender described Porter's mind as 'immensely fertile, lively, informed, honest and penetrating'. Porter's first collection of poems, Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, was published in Britain in 1961. The death of his wife in 1974 gave rise to the poetry collection The Cost of Seriousness (1978). Porter's straddling of Australian and English culture remained central to his work, evoking urban and natural worlds. In 1990 Porter was awarded the Gold Medal of Australian Literature, and in 2002, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Best known for his landscapes, Tony Clark's work features conceptual, punk and pop qualities, as evidenced by the reduced palette of blue and pink in this portrait of Porter. The blue of Porter's floating head references Clark's preoccupation with the classicism of Josiah Wedgwood's Jasperware.

Purchased with funds provided by the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004

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

Tony Clark (age 50 in 2004)

Peter Porter OAM (age 75 in 2004)

Supported by

Basil P. Bressler (44 portraits supported)

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