The Futile City

Taking its inspiration from Albert Tucker's 1940 painting of the same title, The Futile City examines the rise of the city from the modern era to the present day.

Art Exhibition previously on at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Saturday 25 June 2011 to Sunday 09 October 2011

The Futile City 1940 image London Bus 1957 image Extinction Express 1988 image

Published by anonymous on Monday 20 June 2011.
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The exhibition juxtaposes several images of the city painted by Tucker over the course of his lifetime with those by contemporary artists for whom the city and its structures provide rich visual and thematic source material.

Taking its cue from T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’ (1922),Tucker’s painting The Futile City reflects a mood of personal despair and anxiety in the face of the social crisis of World War II. Tucker recognised in Eliot a ‘twin soul’, who painted with words images of horror, futility and prophecies of doom, to all of which Tucker had a heightened sensitivity.

Works by six contemporary artists also feature in the exhibition, including Jeffery Smart, Robert Boynes, Susan Norrie, Louise Forthun, David Jolly and Richard Giblett. Just as the city and its rhetoric were primary sources of inspiration for Tucker, so it has been for these artists. The selected works articulate aspects of the human condition and the rituals of urban existence, as well as the place of the individual within the physical, political and social structures of the city.

The Futile City is the eleventh in an ongoing series of exhibitions based on the Tucker Gift to Heide Museum of Modern Art. This series alternates between exhibitions which investigate Tucker’s oeuvre in detail, and those which place him in an art historical, theoretical or contemporary context, as this exhibition does.