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  • Published: 28 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781742746326
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 540
Categories:

Australian Gothic




The acclaimed biography of one of Australia's pre-eminent artists, Albert Tucker.

The acclaimed biography of one of Australia's pre-eminent artists, Albert Tucker.

Australian Gothic is the first biography of Tucker, one of Australia's most significant and influential artists. A member of the 'Angry Penguins' group which included Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Joy Hester, Tucker is best remembered for his paintings of wartime Melbourne: Images of Modern Evil. He showed the city streets as they had never been shown before – as the site of evil, carnality and darkness.

Burke's research also analyses the inlfuence of fellow artisy Joy Hester on Tucker's career. Passionate, earthy and gifted, Hester was Tucker's great love and muse. Controversially, Burke argues that following Hester's abandonment of Tucker, his art changed irrevocably.

Author, curator and art historian, Janine Burke, enjoyed a 22-year association with Tucker, and her biography draws on hours of conversations and interviews she conducted with him. Written with a friend's respect and affection, and a scholar's deep appreciation of the forces that shaped Tucker's career, it provides a comprehensive account of his life and work. Meticulously researched, vivid and absorbing, Australian Gothic is the definitive biography of this complex and captivating man.

  • Published: 28 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781742746326
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 540
Categories:

About the author

Janine Burke

Janine Burke is an art historian, curator and novelist. In 1977, she was the inaugural art history lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts. She published Australian Women Artists: 1840-1940 (1980) and won the 1987 Victorian Premier’s literary award for Second Sight. Her books on the Heide Circle include Joy Hester (1983) and The Heart Garden: Sunday Reed and Heide (2004). She wrote The Gods of Freud: Sigmund Freud's Art Collection (2006)and curated Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing for the Freud Museum London (2014). More recently, Burke has focused on nature. After writing Nest: The Art of Birds (2012), she curated an exhibition of nests at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery. In 2016, she curated Human/Animal/Artist: Art Inspired by Animals there. She is Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre of Visual Arts, University of Melbourne.

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Praise for Australian Gothic

‘An enthralling biography of Tucker: a portrait by turns social and intellectual, psychological and emotional … The tale she unfolds is gripping and relentless: it offers a sharp vision not just of Tucker and his work, but of his milieu and his times; it has, for almost all his lengthy course, a splendid balance, integrating the artist’s own reflections and the reminiscences of his circle, holding up key paintings and publications as mirrors of the man.’ Nicolas Rothwell, Australian

‘… is a genuine masterpiece … the most closely textured account of any Australian artist’s life I have ever read. Australian writers have received this attention but this is the first time I’ve read a biography of an artist [that] gets into their skin … I thought I knew Tucker’s art backwards but it has given me a whole new way of looking at it.’ Patrick McCaughey

‘A life of Albert Tucker presented crisply, coherently and fairly. It’s a measure of Burke’s success in reconstructing the man and his motives that, about a third of the way in, when a passage opens with the phrase, “But Bert being Bert …” the reader nods knowingly, as if listening to familiar gossip on a recalcitrant uncle.’ Chris McAuliffe, Age

‘… a damn good read. Burke paints a vivid picture of the art scene as experienced at ground level by someone not just living through but shaping important artistic events. The story is skilfully told, the writing is pacy amd history is artfully interpreted.’ Christopher Heathcote, Sydney Morning Herald

‘… as biography it leaps the fence and enters the richly engaging domain of memoir and cultural history … Australian Gothic is not only the deeply absorbing story of a gifted and troubled man, it is also a disturbingly suggestive examination on a personal level of the darker side of our culture … a complex and disturbing work that breaks new ground in the writing of Australian art biography.’ Alex Miller

‘… a complex and passionate book, a landmark in both Australian biography and art writing.’ Tom Carment, HQ

‘A meticulously documented, scholarly account of Tucker’s life … intelligent, racy and readable.’ Sasha Grishin, Canberra Times

‘… an intimate and digressive portrait not just of a significant figure in Australian art but also the febrile, feuding, driven and passionate world of a vanished Melbourne bohemia.’ Shane Maloney

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