Showcasing an iconic influence in Australian photography, the Ian Potter Museum of Art has become the first Victorian gallery to feature Max and Olive: The photographic life of Olive Cotton and Max Dupain. This exhibition, as part of the National Gallery of Australia, brings together, in seamless unity, the celebrated works of two of Australia’s most famed photographers.
The exhibition, which takes place from 31 May – 24 July at the University of Melbourne, features over 65 selected prints by Dupain and Cotton from 1934-1945, arguably one of the most pivotal periods to experimental photography. Being stand-alone figures in Australia’s photography scene throughout the mid-twentieth century, Dupain and Cotton experimented with an array of different photographic techniques to secure their place in history as craftsmen of Australian culture.
Drawing on influences from modernist photography advancements, Dupain and Cotton explored a plethora of different lighting techniques and composition in order to produce some of the most distinguished Australian photographs of all time. Their poignant images, reminiscent of Australian life and culture, have become visually demanding references when exploring the context of Australian life within the 30’s and 40’s – and thus, Dupain, Cotton and their shared works remain untouchable in Australian art history.
Having grown up together, worked alongside one another, and being married for a short while, the Max and Olive exhibition is much more than a formal appreciation of Australian art. In fact, the exhibition becomes an art piece within itself, where the audience can explore the relationship between the photographers and the external world, as well as their dynamic relationship with each other.
For more information about the exhibition, see here.