Landscape With Figures
Writer, historian and art critic Robert Hughes presents a survey of Australian art from the time of the First Fleet to the present day, based on the social background of the times and the overseas prototypes from which much of Australia's art revealed.
Volume 1 The Chains of Arcady An examination of the artistic letters that persuaded early painters to see an inhospitable landscape as an Arcadian paradise. Mutton and Gold The change from a provincial Georgian culture into Victoriana, when free settlers and "mutton and gold" changed everything in Australia - including its art.
Volume 2 The Mateship Commune The story of the few years that have become known as the "Golden Age" of Australian painting. In the 1880's, Australian Impressionism was founded by Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Charles Conder - the Heidelberg School. The Fat Young Nymphs The focus in this episode is on the years up to the end of World War I, when Australian artists made a concerted effort to impress themselves on the world at large.
Volume 3 Modernism Post-impressionism raised its timid head in Australia around 1915, but started with a disadvantage - rampant nationalism made it an unreceptive age for brave new visions. The Angry Decade The early work of Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, John Perceval and Sidney Nolan, produced against the background of Melbourne in the 1940s. It was a time known socially and artistically as "The Angry Decade".
Volume 4 Charm School Robert Hughes looks at the work of William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Lloyd Rees and Jeffrey Smart. Antipodeans Robert Hughes looks at the work of Charles Blackman, Clifton Pugh and Leonard French, and presents further comment on Arthur Boyd, Charles Percival and Sidney Nolan.
Volume 5 Directions The establishment of abstract art in Australia and discussion of the work Brett Whiteley, Fred Williams, John Olsen, Ian Fairweather and Godfrey Miller. Wood Ducks and Tyre Kickers In the final program of the series, Robert Hughes assesses the commercial and social backgrounds against which Australian art operates today.
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