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|Notable work||The Antipodean Manifesto|
The Antipodeans (from the Greek: ἀντίποδες meaning literally “those at the antipodes”) were a group of Australian modern artists who asserted the importance of figurative art, and protested against abstract expressionism. Though they staged but a single exhibition in Melbourne during August 1959, they were noted internationally.
The Antipodeans group consisted of seven modern Melbourne painters and the art historian Bernard Smith, who compiled The Antipodean Manifesto in 1959,  a declaration fashioned from the artists' comments as a catalogue essay to accompany their exhibit.  Albert Tucker, not associated with the group, had begun exhibiting a series in a similar figurative style titled Antipodean Head in Europe in 1957.  Member John Perceval exhibited a ceramic sculpture Antipodean Angel, a laughing figure standing on its hands, at Terry Clune Gallery in Sydney in May 1959. 
The artists were Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh.  They were all Melbourne-based, save Dickerson, who was from Sydney. In 1959 none were direct members of the Heide Circle that had maintained its importance with the Melbourne Branch of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS) since the early 1940s, though Sunday and John Reed championed the group.  Three were Boyd family members and all were fraternal painters of some stature working within their maintained styles of realistic imagery. Notably, though Perceval showed there in 1958, they did not exhibit in the CAS's own gallery (directed by Reed from 1958 as the Museum of Modern Art Australia), as the Society opposed the show,[ citation needed ] but chose instead to use the premises of the rival Victorian Artists' Society,  long a bastion for cultural conservatism in Melbourne.
The Age, in its 'News of the Day' greeted their emergence;
For the layman mystified by most modern art, the exhibition by a newly formed group called the Antipodeans, which opens at the Victorian Artists' Society rooms tomorrow, holds out real promise. The Antipodeans a group of seven Melbourne artists and one University Fine Arts lecturer have joined forces in a protest against the work of many of their contemporaries. The artists in the group are [joined by] the lecturer Mr. Bernard Smith (who is also their chairman) [ . . . ] To Illustrate the group's Idea, Mr. Smith showed us a copy of the group's manifesto, a strongly worded two page document which, we feel, is bound to provoke some argument somewhere." 
The article quotes Smith, who opened the show on Tuesday 4 August 1959,  explaining their raison d'être as a stand against "abstract and non-figurative art, which is dazzling young artists everywhere," and that they had chosen the name Antipodeans because it "signifies where we live, but avoids any national overtones in the word Australian. It also links us with the European tradition."
The Antipodean Manifesto was a reaction to the considerable public success of the museum exhibition, The New American Painting, an authoritative survey of abstract expressionism organised by New York's Museum of Modern Art, which was touring Europe over 1958–59. The Australian painters feared that American abstraction was becoming the new orthodoxy,  and that intolerance towards the modernist figurative art they practiced was increasing internationally.
Their manifesto therefore warned against the uncritical adoption by artists of overseas fashion, American abstract expressionism in particular. The manifesto took its central stand on the cardinal importance of the image:
[T]he image, the recognisable shape, the meaningful symbol, is the basic unit of [the artist's] language... It is born of past experience and refers back to past experience — and it communicates. It communicates because it has the capacity to refer to experiences that the artist shares with his audience. 
The manifesto was seen by some local artists and critics at the time as a statement in favour of conservatism and reaction, and as a call to isolate Australia from international art. Their case was not helped by the fact that they were all enjoying some commercial success, as against their immediate rivals (the local abstractionists Roger Kemp, Leonard French, Inge King and George Johnson) who were struggling.[ citation needed ] Some members resigned from the Antipodeans group during the exhibition, and have viewed their participation in it with embarrassment ever since.[ citation needed ]
The Age critic Arnold Shore in his contemporaneous review framed the group as "anti-abstract painters who believe that art should express ideas" and condemned their "ideas" as "obscure," "comic-strip" and "badly painted," singling out Blackman as the only one "to endow his ideas with a sense of existence and their presentation with subtleties of art form," and considered Perceval's ceramics superior to his paintings of Williamstown as a "perpetual regatta of colour." He dismissed Arthur Boyd's Bride series as "quaint," David Boyd's work as "grotesque cartooning," John Brack's as "illustrative distortion," Dickerson's as reaching "tragic depths," and concluded that Pugh had lost himself in painting his Rape of Europa. 
Nevertheless, with the assistance of British museum director Kenneth Clark, works by group members were included in a 1961 exhibition entitled Recent Australian Painting at the Whitechapel Gallery in London (alongside that of Jon Molvig, Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Fred Williams and others). They felt vindicated by their inclusion in this exhibition, which established that contemporary Australian painting had a well-founded national identity. In the months after the Antipodeans exhibition, Boyd, Perceval and Blackman all moved to London, and established successful exhibiting careers on the European scene.
The Antipodeans were a Melbourne movement. In 1961, a group calling themselves the Sydney 9 — which included the Australian abstract artists Hector Gilliland, Carl Plate, Leonard Hessing, Stan Rapotec, John Olsen, Robert Klippel, Clement Meadmore and Bill Rose — held an exhibition of paintings and sculpture to counter the Antipodeans group. The group also recruited a young critic, Robert Hughes, to oppose the stance of Bernard Smith.
In 1999, the now internationally known art movement Stuckism was founded, which among other preceding art movements draws on the principles of The Antipodeans.[ how? ]
Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd was a leading Australian painter of the middle to late 20th century. Boyd's work ranges from impressionist renderings of Australian landscape to starkly expressionist figuration, and many canvases feature both. Several famous works set Biblical stories against the Australian landscape, such as The Expulsion (1947–48), now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Having a strong social conscience, Boyd's work deals with humanitarian issues and universal themes of love, loss and shame.
John de Burgh Perceval AO was a well-known Australian artist. Perceval was the last surviving member of a group known as the Angry Penguins who redefined Australian art in the 1940s. Other members included John Reed, Joy Hester, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker. He was also an Antipodean and contributed to the Antipodeans exhibition of 1959.
John Brack was an Australian painter, and a member of the Antipodeans group. According to one critic, Brack's early works captured the idiosyncrasies of their time "more powerfully and succinctly than any Australian artist before or since. Brack forged the iconography of a decade on canvas as sharply as Barry Humphries did on stage."
Clifton Ernest Pugh AO, was an Australian artist and three-time winner of Australia's Archibald Prize. One of Australia's most renowned and successful painters, Pugh was strongly influenced by German Expressionism, and was known for his landscapes and portraiture. Important early group exhibitions include The Antipodeans, the exhibition for which Bernard Smith drafted a manifesto in support of Australian figurative painting, an exhibition in which Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Charles Blackman showed; a joint exhibition with Barry Humphries, in which the two responded to Dadaism; and Group of Four at the Victorian Artists Society Gallery with Pugh, John Howley, Don Laycock and Lawrence Daws.
Janet Dawson MBE is an Australian artist who was a pioneer of abstract painting in Australia in the 1960s, having been introduced to abstraction during studies in England while she lived in Europe 1957–1960 She was also an accomplished lithographic printer of her own works as well as those of other renowned Australian artists, a theatre-set and furniture designer. She studied in England and Italy on scholarships before returning to Australia in 1960. She won the Art Gallery of New South Wales Archibald Prize in 1973 with the portrait of her husband, Michael Boddy Reading. She has exhibited across Australia and overseas, and her work is held in major Australian and English collections. In 1977 she was awarded an MBE for services to art.
Charles Raymond Blackman was an Australian painter, noted for the Schoolgirl, Avonsleigh and Alice in Wonderland series of the 1950s. He was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval, and Clifton Pugh. He was married for 27 years to author, essayist, poet, librettist and patron of the arts Barbara Blackman.
Guy Martin à Beckett Boyd was an Australian potter and figurative sculptor noted for his ability to represent sensuality in the female nude with fluid forms. He was also active in environmental and other causes, including protesting against the damming of the Franklin River and advocating the innocence of Lindy Chamberlain.
Robert Henry Dickerson was an Australian figurative painter and former member of the Antipodeans group of artists. Dickerson is one of Australia's most recognised figurative artists and one of a generation of influential artists who include Ray Crooke, Charles Blackman, Laurence Hope, Margaret Olley and Inge King.
Stuckism is an art movement that began in London, England, in 1999. In 2000, Melbourne artist Regan Tamanui started the first international branch of the movement. As of 2010, there are seven Australian Stuckist groups, who have held shows—sometimes concurrently with UK activities—received coverage in the Australian press and on TV, and also been represented in UK shows. The Stuckists take a strong pro-painting and anti-conceptual art stance, and were co-founded by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish.
Bernard William Smith was an Australian art historian, art critic and academic, considered the founding father of Australian art history, and one of the country's most important thinkers. His book Place, Taste and Tradition: a Study of Australian Art Since 1788 is a key text in Australian art history, and influence on Robert Hughes. Smith was associated with the Communist Party of Australia, and after leaving the party remained a prominent left-wing intellectual and Marxist thinker. Following the death of his wife in 1989, he sold much of their art collection to establish the Kate Challis RAKA, one of the first prizes in the country for Indigenous artists and writers.
George Henry Johnson was a New Zealand artist who made his name in Australia.
Peter Benjamin Graham, was an Australian visual artist, printer, and art theorist.
Georges Mora was a German-born Australian entrepreneur, art dealer, patron, connoisseur and restaurateur.
Gareth Sansom is an Australian artist, painter, printmaker and collagist and winner of the 2008 John McCaughey Memorial Prize of $100,000.
Laurence Hope was an Australian artist from Sydney who is best known for his Lover, Dreamers and Isolates paintings.
Piers Maxwell Dudley-Bateman was an Australian landscape painter. He was a member of The Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, Charles Blackman, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh. He taught as a Professor for painting at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art under Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
Peter Bray Gallery was established as Stanley Coe Gallery in 1949 before being renamed in 1951, after a change of management. Situated at 435 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, it closed in 1957. Many of the major names in mid-century Australian contemporary art showed there during its brief, but very busy, lifespan.
Andrew John Sibley was an English-born Australian artist. Sibley has been the subject of three books and is commonly listed in histories and encyclopedias of Australian art as a significant figurative painter of the mid and late 20th century.
The Museum of Modern Art Australia (MOMAA), alternatively named the 'Museum of Modern Art of Australia,' or, according to McCulloch, the 'Museum of Modern Art and Design' (MOMAD), was founded by Australian art patron John Reed in 1958 in Tavistock Place, a lane-way off 376 Flinders Street, Melbourne, launched previously with a survey of Modernist Victorian women artists on 1 June 1956, organised by the Reeds who had taken on the then named Gallery of Contemporary Art. It held exhibitions of important contemporary Australian and international art of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Museum operated until 1966 and was formally dissolved in 1981.
Gallery A was a mid-century Australian gallery that exhibited contemporary Australian art. It was established in 1959 at 60 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, and then relocated to 275 Toorak Road., South Yarra. A second Gallery A venue was opened and run concurrently at 21 Gipps Street, Paddington in Sydney from 1964, and a third in Canberra. The Sydney business largely displaced the Melbourne gallery, which also closed in 1970, and continued until 1983. Its founder was Max Hutchinson and other directors during the history of the gallery at its three venues included Clement Meadmore, James Mollison, Janet Dawson and Ann Lewis.