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Anne Zahalka, Flocking flamingos, 2018, pigment ink on canvas, 39 3⁄8 × 59”. From the series “Wild Life in the Age of the Anthropocene,” 2018.

Anne Zahalka

Dominik Mersch Gallery

Anne Zahalka broke onto the Australian art scene as one of a number of talented women artists who rode the wave of postmodernism in the 1980s. Her early work combining photography and appropriation is typically viewed as debunking stereotypes of place, identity, and culture, and as showing photographic verisimilitude to be a theatrical construct. One of Zahalka’s best-known early works refigures the Australian modernist Max Dupain’s famous black-and-white photograph Sunbaker, 1937, which highlights the impressive musculature and oiled skin of a male surfer soaking up rays on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Zahalka’s The sunbather #2, 1989, substituted for this idealized image of Australian manhood a slight, redheaded female whose freckled limbs rest gingerly on a mound of sand in what is clearly a studio set. The image cheekily undercuts the status of Dupain’s picture as an emblem of Australian

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