An image of Syphilis and old lace

Arthur McIntyre

(Australia 31 Oct 1945 – 26 Oct 2003)

Syphilis and old lace

Not on display
Further information

In this juxtaposition of burned cloth doilies with illustrations and texts from medical case histories, Arthur McIntyre intended to shock the viewer with unconventional materials that could be considered unappealing or ugly. The work is from a larger group of collaged drawings and paintings centred on the dualities of the human condition: birth and death, light and dark, survival and decay.

Collage became important to McIntyre when he was living in Paris in 1975. Surrounded by the complex layered fabric of that historic city, and with first-hand exposure to the works of the dadaists, French surrealists and contemporary collagists, he was prompted to explore the possibilities of this technique. Seeing parallels between the ‘living death’ of the city and the human condition, he felt that collage could provide a theatrically potent and compelling means of expression.

Collage, Drawing
watercolour, ink with collage of medical textbook pages, burnt cotton doilies, photograph, others papers and leaf, on white paper on card
60.7 x 50.8 cm cardboard
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. black ink "AMc '75".

Purchased 1976
Accession number
© Estate of Arthur McIntyre