About Max Dupain
Max Dupain is Australia’s most revered and well-known photographer. His work has been collected by most of the major galleries around Australia and overseas. His work has influenced generations of photographers and he is the most influential photographer of the 20th century.
Born in Sydney in 1911, he lived there all his life, photographing the city from the late 1930s through to just before his death on July 27, 1992. There were a few sojourns to other countries, Paris in 1988 to photograph the Seidler Australian Embassy but mostly he was interested in photographing the architecture, the landscape, the beaches and the cities of Australia.
For many Australians, Dupain’s photographs define beach culture, and it was the beach that was the inspiration for his most famous and enduring images. The Sunbaker, At Newport and Bondi all capturing that decisive moment.
However, it was not just the beach and Sydney that held his attention. Beginning in the mid thirties, Dupain took on most genres – portraits, nudes, still life and in particular, architecture. It was the latter in which his dramatically lighted portrayals expressed the abstract qualities, emphasising the simple shapes and design of a structure.
Dupain’s philosophy could be summed up in two words, simplicity and directness. With this in mind, Dupain remained an adherent of black and white photography. He felt that colour was restricting in its objectivity and that nothing was left for individual interpretation. He continued to photograph until a few months before his death in July, 1992.
“Modern photography must do more than entertain, it must incite thought and by its clear statements of actuality, cultivate a sympathetic understanding of men and women and the life they create and live.”
Max Dupain 1948