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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.

Robbie McEwen, 2008

Matthys Gerber

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

Robbie McEwen (b. 1972) raced BMX during the 1980s and was an Australian Junior Champion before switching to road racing, aged eighteen, in 1990. He represented Australia at the 1994 World Championships and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and in 1997 rode the Tour De France for the first time. He had the first of a total of twelve Tour stage wins in 1999, and in 2002 became the first Australian both to wear and win the sprinter’s green jersey. The Tour’s sprint champion again in 2004 and 2006, among McEwen’s other career highlights are a total of twelve individual stage wins in the Giro d’Italias of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007; selection in the Australian Olympic teams for Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004), and firsts in the Australian National Road Race Championships of 2002 and 2005. Australian Cyclist of the Year for 2002 and twice Male Road Cyclist of the Year (1999 and 2002), McEwen retired from professional cycling in 2012.

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: 2008.110.3

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Matthys Gerber (age 52 in 2008)

Robbie McEwen (age 36 in 2008)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Cadel Evans, 2008 Matthys Gerber
Cadel Evans, 2008 Matthys Gerber
Cadel Evans, 2008 Matthys Gerber
Cadel Evans, 2008 Matthys Gerber

Winning in technicolor

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2009

Alistair McGhie writes about the portraits of three of Australia's top professional cyclists: Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen painted by Matthys Gerber.

George Tjungurrayi, 2002 Matthys Gerber
George Tjungurrayi, 2002 Matthys Gerber
George Tjungurrayi, 2002 Matthys Gerber
George Tjungurrayi, 2002 Matthys Gerber

Two painters

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2007

Chris Chapman explains how Matthys Gerber bridges the gap between abstraction and portraiture.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.