Since the 1980s, Annette Bezor has been one of Australia’s foremost painters. In her current work, she takes images of women from classical painting, contemporary decorative art and popular culture and recreates them as stylised icons to reveal and subvert the power and impact of the originals. In challenging viewers to meet the newly focussed gaze of these women, Bezor exposes the nature of society’s attitudes to women and how they are represented in art and popular culture. She then situates these iconic figures in a surrealistic space to emphasise the roles, identities and emotional states of women generally.

Her work can be categorised as postmodern by virtue of her appropriation of imagery and reconsideration of past art, but these strategies are intended to address the representation of women and women’s sexuality as much as the nature or history of art itself. And while the painting techniques she uses question the nature of painting as an art form, they are primarily used to create powerful metaphors. She has adapted painting in unique ways to suit her purpose and, over her career, has confirmed and extended the role of the independent woman artist and has participated in the debate over art history. Bezor has made a significant impact on the idea and nature of painting in contemporary art.