Charles Meere

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Matthew Charles Meere (6 December 1890 – 17 October 1961), generally known as Charles Meere, was an English-born artist who studied art in England and France, served in World War I, and eventually settled in Australia in 1932. While pursuing his Sydney art practice, he also worked as a commercial artist, exhibited widely and taught life classes to students such as Freda Robertshaw. He achieved considerable artistic and commercial success, winning the Sulman Prize in 1938 with Atalanta's Eclipse, a neo-classical interpretation of the Greek myth. One of his colleagues described him as "somewhat of a character, slightly eccentric, looking like a businessman, with a droll sense of humour".[1][2]

Meere is best known for his stylised art deco paintings dating from the interwar period, most notably Australian Beach Pattern (1938–40). Alternately criticised or praised for its studied formality, this painting has been variously interpreted as a celebration of Australian beach culture, a glorification of heroic racial purity, or as a nuanced reflection of Australia's unpreparedness for World War II.[3][4] It was among the quintessential Australian images chosen for the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics program and was included in the major exhibition of Australian art held at London's National Gallery in 2013.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Linda Slutzkin and Dinah Dysart, Charles Meere (1890-1961), S H Ervin Gallery, National Trust of Aust (NSW), Sydney, 1987
  2. ^ Joy Eadie, entry in Design & Art Australia Online, http://www.daao.org.au/bio/version_history/charles-meere/biography/?p=1&revision_no=12,
  3. ^ Joy Eadie, "In time of war: Charles Meere's Australian Beach Pattern", Art Monthly Australia, Iss 186, Summer 2005/6, p 26
  4. ^ Philip McCouat, "The Origins of an Australian Art Icon", Journal of Art in Society, http://www.artinsociety.com/the-origins-of-an-australian-art-icon.html
  5. ^ McCouat, op cit