Bronze art medal titled 'Eclipse II' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1981. This is a refinement of the 'Eclipse I' created earlier in the same year. The shadow is no longer a separate entity and all we see is one body moving across the face of the second. Meszaros' philosophy is to progressively remove elements from a design until only the essence remains - the point at which, if one more line is taken away, 'the whole thing falls apart.' These two medals together illustrate that process of constant reduction and refinement.
Bronze medal with a design of a burnished arc on the left and a textured area on the right.
The moon passing across the face of the sun, appearing as a crescent.
This is one of 44 art medals in the Museum's collection by Michael Meszaros, dated from 1960 through to 1987, which chart the evolution of a new phase of the medal tradition in Australia. While Australian medals have previously largely been commissioned works associated with official commemorations or major awards, these are personal artworks. In addition to their aesthetic value, they document nearly two decades of Australian life from a personal and popular point of view, drawing on cultural trends, sporting and leisure, and emerging issues such as environmentalism. This is a modern development in Australia, but it harks back to the European tradition, developed in the Renaissance, of medals as artistic works.
For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.
Cultural Gifts Donation from Jennifer M. Shaw, 8 June 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Jennifer M. Shaw
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