Nervous interior/During philosophy – Group portrait with head

Born Naracoorte, South Australia 1954


Bernhard Sachs’ paintings and drawings are layered both physically and conceptually. German expressionism, psychology, history, the body and the philosophical ideas of Nietzsche are some of the sources and subjects explored within his work.

Of Nervous interior/During philosophy – Group portrait with head (1988), Sachs has said ‘It is actually a figure composition based on a still from an obscure German Expressionist film concerning the digging of a tunnel underneath the Atlantic… There are in the work resonances of a certain type of masculine coding not disconnected with mining industry culture. But the metaphor of mining is driven deeper and with a psychoanalytic edge.’1

Sachs’ studied at the University of Adelaide (1976), South Australian School of Art (1980), and the Victorian College of the Arts (1985).

He has exhibited widely, including in New York and Japan, and has been represented in the group exhibitions 1000 Mile Stare, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (1988); Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales (1989); Parr Sachs Tillers Young, Orange Regional Gallery (1999); and Paperworks, Queensland Art Gallery (2001).

Sach’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, and several university and regional galleries.


1 Quote from Sachs in an email to Annette Larkin on 30 October 2006, Cbus Collection archive.