Collection Online

We inhabit the corrosive littoral of habit

oil on canvas
40.7 × 51.3 cm
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Anonymous gift, 1941
© Courtesy of the artist
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work
James Gleeson’s cold landscape and decomposing face present an emotionally charged metaphor for the corrosion of the world and the human mind between the world wars. Like the surrealist writer Andre Breton, Gleeson believed that surrealism, which privileged the world of the subconscious imagination, could be a weapon against the malaise in civilisation that had led to the rise of oppressive totalitarian regimes and the madness of war.