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The car Theme: At Ease

Artist: John BRACK
Birth/Death: 1920–1999

Title: The car

Credit Line: National Gallery of Victoria

‘Walking in a suburban street one day the car passed me, and the occupants looked out. This seemed to compose itself as a picture instantly. The paraphernalia of the street — houses and telegraph poles, seemed to rob the faces of dramatic emphasis. I think that the country landscape solved this problem, and serves also to illustrate a social phenomenon important in our time — the family making an afternoon trip from the city to the nearby country on Sunday. It is part of the pattern of the life of millions.’

John Brack Brack captured the surface reality of everyday life in 1950s middle class Australia. The flat, hard-edged figures cocooned by the structure of the car symbolise the perfect suburban family. Father concentrates on the driving; Mother, son and daughter look out. The car seems to isolate the individuals within their own experiences.

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