⬤ 27 Apr - 26 Aug 2018
His hair is brushed forward in a modish style that matches with his woollen turtleneck jumper. He stares into the camera lens with an expression that is difficult to describe—neutral, serious, handsome, vacant, boyish, bewildered; it is not quite any of these. When this photograph of the twenty-one-year-old Robert Hunter appeared in the catalogue for The Field, the 1968 exhibition that inaugurated the National Gallery of Victoria’s St Kilda Road premises, it was not accompanied by any images of his artwork. This absence was due, the catalogue explains, to the photographically unreproducible interplay of whites and off-whites in Hunter’s work. Immediately, The Field was identified as a key episode in the history of modernism in Australia, and the near invisibility of its youngest contributor’s artwork was part of its narrative.