The University of Wollongong’s Wry ARTificer exhibition in the Panizzi Gallery (5 Nov- 31 March 2019), explores Bert Flugelman’s art practice beyond the monumental public sculptures he is most recognised for. Flugelman’s work incorporates broad themes in various mediums, often demonstrating his well-known wit and sharp eye.
To complement Wry ARTificer, a selection of UOWAC works are being featured on the Research Online archive, with the aim of showcasing the diversity of Bert’s work from his intimate garden sketches to well-known sculptural pieces.
The UOWAC holds more than fifty Flugelman works and numerous archival materials related to the artist, the result of Flugelman’s professional ties to the University of Wollongong and a number of generous donations received from the Flugelman Estate.
Born in Austria in 1923, Bert ‘Herbert’ Flugelman migrated to Australia with his family in 1938 to flee the anti-Semitic atmosphere of Europe. He lived in Australia until his death in 2013, earning numerous accolades and achievements including membership to the Order of Australia and admission to the Hundred Living National Treasures.
Flugelman was a student of the National Art School, formerly the East Sydney Technical College and went on to teach Fine Arts at a number of Sydney’s Technical colleges, the University of Sydney and the South Australian School of Arts. In 1984, he began teaching at the University of Wollongong and spent six years as a Senior Lecturer and Arts Professor. During this time Flugelman established strong connections with students, colleagues and the wider arts community in the Illawarra, obtaining an honorary Doctorate of Creative Art from the University of Wollongong in 1995.
As one of Australia’s most celebrated public sculptors, his works are held in major collections such as the National Gallery of Australia and he undertook numerous commissions including the iconic Dobell Memorial Sculpture in Martin Place, Sydney. Flugelman’s works have local significance to the Illawarra and the University of Wollongong due to his professional and personal ties to the area. His monumental pieces Winged Figure (Lawrence Hargrave memorial) (1988-1989) and Gateway to Mt Keira (1985) serve as lasting representations of this connection.
View our map of Bert Flugelman's sculptural works at UOWAC Map Flugelman sculptures