The New House Painting Analysis

Decent Essays
The subject of suburbia and its’ association with the ‘Australian Dream’ has historically been a source of negative discourse amongst social commentators and other intellectuals , as well as artists. In order to explore the complexities of what the concept of suburbia entails, a clear definition must be established. The Oxford dictionary defines a suburb as that an outlying district of a city, especially a residential one and suburbia as the suburbs or their inhabitants viewed collectively. Since the 1950s, a key goal for many Australians has been home ownership in the suburbs, however such an aspiration is changing in its desirability as reflected in declining home ownership rates in Australia over the last two decades . The reality of Australian suburbia is particularly interesting as it often appears in stark contrast to the mythology of the Australian bush, which has been represented by many artists such as Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale. Such works have gained iconographic status and represent a sense …show more content…
Brack has represented the interior world of the suburbs in his painting ‘The New House (1953)’. This painting depicts a couple in their new home and features many coded details that draw upon cultural tendencies of the time. The Van Gogh reproduction that hangs above the mantelpiece is regarded as decoration and not an authentic piece of art. The flatness of his painting style reflects nothing of the vibrancy and textural excitement that could be associated with art. Brack’s choice to paint the suburbs provides an interesting historical discourse with the way Australian identity has been depicted through art. This is because the suburbs exist as the antithesis to depictions of the Australian landscape as ‘the outback’. Brack reveals a disappointed observation that instead of ‘nationalism, the cultural aspiration becomes ‘mere acquisitiveness’ and thus loses substance and

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