Men's Wear

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Men's Wear
John Brack (1953) - Men's Wear.jpg
ArtistJohn Brack
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions81.0 cm × 114.0 cm (31.9 in × 44.9 in)
LocationNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Men's Wear is a 1953 painting by Australian artist John Brack. The painting depicts the interior of a menswear store, including the proprietor and some mannequins, standing in front of displays of ties and trousers. A mirror in the background reflects a silhouette of the artist.[1]

It seems to be a simple image of an ordinary shop, but its simplicity is deceptive. There’s a complex interaction of lines of sight, for a start; and the jokey inclusion of the silhouetted figure opens up the interior space to the space outside the shop, outside the pictorial space even. And there’s a play - inspired, perhaps, by Magritte - between man, mannequin and silhouette that creates ambiguity. It’s a sort of surrealism of the high street.

— Kitty Hauser, [2]

Brack painted the work while he was Art Master at Melbourne Grammar School. It is one of a series of paintings, including The Barber's Shop (1952) and The Fish Shop (1955) of small high street businesses.[2]

The painting was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 1982 and is now part of its Australian Art collection.


  1. ^ Wilson, Tim. "The art of the forgotten people". IPA Review. Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Hauser, Kitty (22 February 2014). "John Brack's Men's Wear at the National Gallery of Australia". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 25 May 2016.