Collection Online

Collins St, 5p.m.

oil on canvas
114.8 × 162.8 cm
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
inscribed in black paint l.l.: John Brack 55
inscribed in white chalk (vertically) on reverse: BRACK / COLLINS ST.
inscribed in pencil (vertically) on reverse: Collins St J. BRACK
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1956
© National Gallery of Victoria
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 8
Level 2, NGV Australia

In the early 1950s, John Brack adopted the urban Melbourne environment as his subject, recording the shops, bars and workplaces of the city with an ironic edge. This painting is among the most iconic of this period. Here, Brack depicts Melbourne’s financial centre hub at the end of the working day, uniformly dressed office-workers stream homeward. Inspired by his own experience employed by a city-based insurance company, Brack points to the enduring presence of the individual by personalising each figure, despite the formal repetition and universally muted palette enchancing the over-arching sense of drudgery of nine-to-five office life.