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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.

Paul Taylor 1, 1984, 1984 (printed 2012)

Robert Rooney

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 24.0 cm x 35.2 cm, image: 20.0 cm x 30.5 cm)

Paul Taylor (1957-1992), critic and curator, graduated from Monash Univeristy in 1979. Two years later, he became the founding editor and publisher of the journal Art & Text, which was the first Australian art journal to achieve an international readership. He curated the influential exhibition Popism at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1982, writing the manifesto ‘Popism – The Art of White Aborigines’ to accompany and explain the exhibition: ‘Our art and criticism have recently sought to reverse the shame of earlier generations concerning cultural alienation and instead to exploit that alienation as part of a multi-national strategy. A search for a regional Australian culture, ultimately a worthless past time, reveals a centrifugal impulse wherein our art, like the mythopoeic Dreamtime of the Aborigines, has gestated upside down and is expressed in a carnivalesque array of copies, inversions and negatives.’ Taylor moved to New York in 1984. There, he became a regular contributor to Vanity Fair, Manhattan, inc., Fame, Connoisseur and Interview magazines as well as The New York Times, Flash Art and Parkett. He conducted the last interview with Andy Warhol. Having served as Australian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale in 1986, he curated the exhibition "Impresario: Malcolm McLaren and the British New Wave" for The New Museum of Contemporary Art in 1988. A few weeks after he returned to Melbourne in 1992 he died of AIDS-related illness at the age of 35.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012
© Estate of Robert Rooney

Accession number: 2012.107

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Robert Rooney (age 47 in 1984)

Paul Taylor (age 27 in 1984)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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.