An image of The public private preview

Ken Reinhard

(Australia 1936 – )

The public private preview

Not on display
Further information

Ken Reinhard was, along with Mike Brown and Martin Sharp, a pioneering practitioner of pop art in Sydney, during the early to mid-1960s. Described in The Sunday Telegraph by critic/curator Daniel Thomas as pop art's "first big blessing"[1], Reinhard's awarding of the 1964 Sulman Prize for his work 'The public private preview' introduced Australian audiences to pop art. This was somewhat ironic considering 'The public private preview' satirises passing trends in art and the hype surrounding the arrival of pop in Australia.

The work depicts the opening of one of Reinhard's exhibitions in which all classes of the art world are in attendance: the beautiful people, the wheeler dealers, the know-it-all critics, and the laymen and their families. The opinionated and questioning commentary of the crowd, combined with the collaged newspaper reviews, offer a tongue-in-cheek critique of the period's established tastes and changing styles.

'Don't you think these paintings are hung just a little above our heads my dear, after all art is something about which we are all authorities'

'Well watcha think luv? Watcha think of thin of this 'ere ART?'

'But madame you must buy it, its so you and I get 33 1/3'

Stylistically it marked a point in Reinhard's early to mid-career practice when he had shifted from abstract expressionism to painterly collaged pop. There are, however, nods to Reinhard's later hard edge op-pop constructions of the late 1960s and 70s, in the trippy red and white chequered patterning and diagrammatic lettering.

1. Daniel Thomas, 'Archibald Prize' in Sunday Telegraph, 24 January 1965, p 8

Mixed media painting, Painting, Collage, Drawing
oil, paper, pencil, Letraset lettering, aluminium on hardboard
122.8 x 213.4 x 5.2 cm frame
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Wendy Barron Bequest Fund 2015
Accession number
© Ken Reinhard