Rayner Hoff, the most significant sculptor to work in Australia between the wars, is most admired for his sculptures in the Anzac war memorials in Sydney and Adelaide. His work was in the classical figurative tradition in which he had trained. While never part of the international avant-garde, he remained modern for his era and adapted to the idiom of art deco. Hoff’s work is known to all Australians through a logo depicting a lion with its paw on a ball, which he designed for Holden in Adelaide in 1927. While his name may be unfamiliar to many people, the Holden lion mascot, instantly recognisable even in its modified form, is still in use today. Now ninety, the Holden insignia is one of the great examples of Australian logo branding; at a time when so many cars are indistinguishable, the mascot is still the easiest way to identify a Holden.
Christopher Menz reviews 'Rayner Hoff: The life of a sculptor' by Deborah Beck
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has published on the design work of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and is a regular contributor to ABR.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.