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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Pat Painting No 1

1983
Richard Larter

synthetic polymer paint on canvas (support: 179 cm x 125 cm)

The relationship between Richard Larter and Pat Larter (1936–1996) has been described as 'one of the liveliest and most productive art partnerships in Australia.' English by birth, they married in London in 1953 and emigrated to Sydney in 1964. Richard found work as an art teacher, after which the couple settled with their five children at Luddenham in south-western Sydney. According to Richard, the Sydney art scene at the time 'represented the worst trends seen in a pre-world war II backwards looking Royal Academy'. He soon disrupted this with vivid, anarchic paintings that embraced both figuration and abstraction, were often executed in a range of experimental techniques, and which also incorporated pop-culture elements, such as brightly coloured heads of celebrities, dictators and sex symbols. From the mid-1960s onwards, Pat Larter collaborated with Richard in numerous works that defiantly mocked conservatism and hypocrisy – such as this work, which satirises the commodification and objectification of women in pornography and popular visual culture. Though formerly thought of primarily as Richard's muse, Pat was as often as not the animating force behind their collaborations, and later emerged as artist in her own right. Her practice encompassed performance, painting and photo-media, and she was a leading, stridently feminist figure in the international mail art movement. She held her first solo exhibition in Sydney in 1992 and thereafter exhibited regularly, both singly and in group shows, until her untimely death from cancer in 1996.

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2008
© Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2022

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.
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Audio description

3 minutes 24 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Richard Larter (age 54 in 1983)

Pat Larter (age 47 in 1983)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 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.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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