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Stuart O'Grady
, 2008

by Matthys Gerber

oil on canvas (support: 135.7 cm x 136.0 cm)

Stuart O’Grady OAM (b. 1973) was regarded as one of the peloton’s most aggressive and experienced hardmen. Born in Adelaide, O’Grady started out as a track cyclist and was eighteen when he won silver in the team pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics. Part of the squad that triumphed in the same event in the 1993 and 1995 world championships, he scored two bronze medals in Atlanta in 1996 and became an Olympic gold medalist in Athens in 2004 as one half of the combination that won the madison. By this time, O’Grady had also branched into road racing, competing in his first Tour de France in 1998 and wearing the yellow jersey for three stages. Among his numerous other achievements, in 2007, he became the first Australian to win a European one day classic when he took out the race nicknamed ‘The Hell of the North’, the 260-kilometre Paris to Roubaix. He retired from professional cycling within days of completing his seventeenth Tour de France, this record-equalling achievement tarnished by his admission of having once participated in the doping practices revealed to have been prevalent in the sport during the 1990s.

Matthÿs Gerber (b. 1956) was born in the Netherlands and has lived in Australia since 1972. Drawing on the modes of representation used throughout the history of European painting, he has produced a diverse body of work ranging from representational landscapes to abstraction. Gerber is a senior lecturer at the Sydney College of the Arts.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2008
Accession number: 2008.110.2