Ron Mueck
the making of Pregnant woman 2002

introduction | acquisition statement | artist bio | director's talk | education | conservation


Ron Mueck's Pregnant woman 2002 was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 2003 with the generous support of Tony and Carol Berg, and has quickly become one of the works most sought out by visitors to the Gallery. Though intensely private, Mueck enjoys considerable international renown as an artist. Over the last ten years his work has been collected by major galleries and private collectors, and has been exhibited in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, the United States and Australia.

Pregnant woman is a contemporary portrayal of motherhood, making reference to universal themes such as fertility, birth, the goddess, the iconography of the Madonna and Child, and to life itself. Mueck's ability to portray the monumentality and strength of a pregnant woman, as well as her vulnerability and emotional intensity, creates a powerful connection between the work and the viewer.

Mueck's process and techniques are a source of fascination, particularly in relation to his meticulous observation of the skin's surface: its pores, the follicles of hair, the softness of a mole, the hardness of a nail and the shadows of veins just beneath the skin. These are the things that draw viewers to Pregnant woman and make the sculpture seem so real.


image: Ron Mueck  Pregnant woman  2002  (detail)  fibreglass, resin, silicone  252.0 x 78.0 x 72.0 cm  Purchased with the assistance of Tony and Carol Berg 2003  National Gallery of Australia, Canberra  © Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck Pregnant woman 2002 fibreglass, resin, silicone. Purchased with the assistance of Tony and Carol Berg 2003. © Ron Mueck enlarge

The Gallery' focus exhibition, Ron Mueck: the making of Pregnant woman 2002, is part of its Travelling Exhibition program. This program makes works of art from the Gallery's collection available to visitors throughout Australia, enhancing understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts, both nationally and internationally.