Pat Larter, Tania (1995). Collection National Gallery of Victoria. Purchased 1997. On display in Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne, until October 1. Over the years Pat Larter’s work has been variously described as pornographic, tacky and voyeuristic. Larter knew her work was confronting; as she said, she aimed to give viewers “mental heartburn”.
At the 1996 Adelaide Biennale, for instance, her Marty with Plant Life, featuring a photograph of a nude man in a yoga pose, caused consternation. Critics were scathing and the local newspaper published it with the genitalia blacked out.
Marty with Plant Life also caused anxiety in 2014 when curator Gemma Weston included it in her exhibition Glitter at Perth’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Such was the concern that Marty might offend visitors, it was recommended a new wall be built to hide him.
Larter produced numerous images of Marty, and one of them is on display in Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s at the National Tania, Tania
Coloured inks, synthetic polymer paint, plastic and glitter on canvas; 132cm x 85.4cm