Admirers of renowned Australian modernist photographer Max Dupain will get an opportunity to bid for some of his photographs at an auction being organised by Mossgreen in Sydney later this month.

The Dupain estate auction comprises of about 500 photographs including some never-before-seen commercial prints as well as examples of Sydney architecture and industry. The Sydney resident spent a significant part of his life photographing the city, tracking its development and covering major projects such as the Opera House as well as various factories and industrial plants.

The auction offers an opportunity for those who cannot afford Dupain’s signed prints to acquire his commercial work at affordable prices.

Taking on most genres from architecture and landscapes to beaches and still life among many more, Dupain found beauty and drama in building and technology as is evident from the catalogue. His depiction of the Pyrmont silos taken in the 1940s (Lot 189), which is estimated to go up to $5000, or the Dogman, a 1960s photograph that captures the boom in high-rise development in Sydney in that decade, are prime examples. The Dogman is estimated to go between $2000 and $4000, and is signed and dated by Max Dupain.

Dupain’s unique approach to photography is once again seen in his shot of the new Australia Square Tower, which was the highest skyscraper in Australia when completed in 1968. While every other photograph has been taken from the ground looking up, Dupain took this one from the top looking down onto the forecourt and passing pedestrians.

Dupain has also captured the construction of the Opera House from the initial demolition of the Point Bennelong tram terminus (Lot 146) to the final construction phase in 1972 (Lot 154). Mossgreen’s auction also includes photos of more mundane projects such as the Otto Fitzpatrick Forging Factory, an Evo Vacuum Moulding Machine, a conveyor belt, a cafeteria and an ANZ machine for banking. These photos are mainly estimated in the $1000 to $2000 range.

Mossgreen is holding the auction of Max Dupain Estate Photographs in Sydney on Sunday June 19, starting midday. Viewing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 17, 18 and 19. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Image: Sydney Opera House with Tilers, 1972, by Max Dupain. Photo: Max Dupain