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National Gallery of Australia pays tribute to pre-eminent Australian sculptor Bert Flugelman
‘Bert Flugelman was a great Australian sculptor, teacher and inspirer of younger artists.

CANBERRA.- The National Gallery of Australia last week paid tribute with great sadness to esteemed Australian sculptor, Bert Flugelman.

As one of this country’s pre-eminent sculptors, Bert Flugelman’s art over the decades was shaped by his passion and determination; his steadfastness, courage and humour.

‘Bert Flugelman was a great Australian sculptor, teacher and inspirer of younger artists. We are lucky to have his largest major work in our Sculpture Garden and have also fortunately been able to update our collection of his works with a recent major sculpture for our permanent display galleries’, said Ron Radford AM, Director, National Gallery of Australia.

Much of Flugelman’s early work was highly experimental. Best-known as a sculptor, over the years he worked in a wide range of media, including performance, painting and printmaking. While a number of his formative sculptures were figurative, in the late 1960s Flugelman was more interested in a formalist approach and by the 1970s he was increasingly working in stainless steel and aluminium.

His much-loved Cones 1982 in the National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden is a monumental, iconic work. One of the major achievements of his artistic career, the work is impressive in its conception and its scale, extending over some twenty metres. On the one hand it is a sculpture of considerable elegance. It is also full of life – the cones interacting in a remarkable balancing act with one another, with the natural environment and with the audience reflected in their luminous surfaces.

‘Bert Flugelman will be greatly missed. His works such as Cones and Double spiral with graffiti 2008 in the national collection will remain a tribute to a much-admired and respected artist who was a tremendously vital and engaging presence in Australian art’, said Dr Deborah Hart, Senior Curator, Australian Art post 1920, National Gallery of Australia.

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