Tag: 20th Century Art

Exhibition Review | Australia at the Royal Academy of the Arts. Reviewed by Sheridan Palmer

Australia Sheridan Palmer The exhibition is on at the Royal Academy of the Arts from 21 September–8 December 2013. Entering the grand Georgian courtyard of Burlington House, flanked by the Society of Antiquaries, the Linnaean Society and the Society of Geographers, a large banner with Sidney Nolan’s iconic 1946 Ned Kelly greets the visitor at the steps of the Royal Academy. It is a foretaste of things to come; Kelly is seen from the back riding off into a sandy, sparse scrub, shotgun in hand, a lone outlaw in black iron armor. Inside the Royal Academy Shaun Gladwell’s video Approach to Mundi Mundi (1997) is projected onto black walls (Fig. 1). A black leather-clad motor cyclist, a dawn rider with arms out-stretched reminiscent of Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, rides along double white lines on an outback bitumen road,…

Exhibition | Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century at MUMA

Arguably the most influential artistic development of the twentieth century, the readymade was set in motion one hundred years ago when Marcel Duchamp mounted an upturned bicycle wheel on a stool. Duchamp’s conversion of unadorned, everyday objects into fine art completely inverted how artistic practice was considered. Suddenly, art was capable of being everywhere and in everything. It was a revolutionary moment in modern art and the ripples from this epochal shift still resonate today. Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century pays tribute to Duchamp’s innovation, including two key examples of his work: Bicycle wheel 1913 and Bottle dryer 1914. Other important historical works that MUMA has borrowed for the exhibition reveal the readymade’s presence in Minimalism and Conceptual art as well as its echoes in Pop art. The exhibition traces some of the ways the readymade has been reinterpreted…

Symposium | Tilting the World: Histories of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art

Tilting the World: Histories of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art A Symposium in Honour of Professor John Clark Organised by the Power Institute, University of Sydney, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Friday 29 November, 2013 | University of Sydney Saturday 30 November, 2013 | Art Gallery of New South Wales Website: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/power/about/symposiums.shtml The Power Institute in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is proud to present Tilting the World: Histories of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art. Tilting the World is an ambitious symposium, which will bring to Sydney international experts and emerging scholars to discuss the past, present and future of Asian art. Collectively, this symposium asks: what is at stake in the study of modern and contemporary Asian art cultures today, particularly as we head into what is being styled “the Asian Century”? This significant event has been organised…

Exhibition | 1969: the black box of Conceptual Art

Australia’s first conceptual art exhibition, originally staged in Melbourne in 1969, is being recreated at the University of Sydney Art Gallery, in the exhibition 1969: the black box of Conceptual art. Burn Cutforth Ramsden originally ran at the Pinacotheca gallery in St Kilda. The University Art Gallery has reunited the three works of Ian Burn, Roger Cutforth and Mel Ramsden for this free exhibition, opening on 3 August. The reconstruction will be accompanied by video, journals, paintings and other works made at the time by the three young expatriates, providing a broader context for their work and demonstrating how their art emerged from the edges of late modernist painting. A month after the exhibition first ran conceptual art grabbed headlines in Australia when artists wrapped Sydney’s Little Bay in fabric. In comparison Burn Cutforth Ramsden was a relatively low-key affair…

Symposium | Minimal, Conceptual, Pop: A symposium on American Art 1960–80

The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is joining with the Art Gallery of New South Wales to mount an international symposium on the Gallery’s American art collections of the 60s and 70s. This period of radical experiment gave rise to many practices and aesthetics underpinning contemporary art. Enriched by the John Kaldor gift of 2009, the Gallery boasts the world’s finest museum collection of Sol Lewitt. Major pieces by Lewitt, Carl Andre, Christo, Donald Judd, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, Frank Stella and Laurence Weiner are on display during the symposium. Three leading American experts, Alexander Alberro (Columbia), Charles W. Haxthausen (Williams) and Robert Slifkin (NYU) will travel to Sydney for the event. They will be joined by Australian scholars including Sue Best, Keith Broadfoot, Rachel Kent, Chris McAuliffe, Meredith Morse, and Ann Stephen. Convened for the US…

Short Course | The Age of Impressionism – France & Australia | Monet’s Garden

Presented by art and cultural historians this series of lectures will delve into the social and cultural world of the Impressionist era in Paris and will address how the Australian artists connected with their international contemporaries. In conjunction with Australian Impressionists in France exhibition.   Sat 3 Aug, 2pm From the Gare Saint Lazare to Giverny We will trace Claude Monet’s artistic and personal journey as he moved ever further from Paris via Argenteuil, Vetheuil to Giverny and became increasingly engrossed in the study of landscape and light. Speaker: Sylvia Sagona, Fellow, The University of Melbourne Sat 10 Aug, 2pm The word and the image Emile Zola, art critic and champion of the Impressionists, wrote a series of now famous novels on the districts of Paris represented in their canvasses, using a literary style inspired by their ideas and techniques.…

Art History Seminars at Melbourne University | Semester 2

The program for art history seminars at the University of Melbourne for semester 2  is below. All seminars are held in The Linkway, John Medley Building, 4th floor (running between the East and West Towers), between 1-2 pm. All welcome. August 7              Anthony White | University of Melbourne Folk Machine: Fortunato Depero’s Cloth Pictures 1920-1925   August 21            Susanne Meurer | University of Western Australia Johann Neudörffer’s “Nachrichten” (1547): calligraphy and historiography in early modern Nuremberg   September 11   Gerard Vaughan | Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne Museum Culture Today: Possibilities and Inhibitions   September 25   Toshio Watanabe | The University of the Arts, London Forgotten Japonisme: taste for Japanese art in Britain and North America 1910s – 1960s   October 9            Penelope Woods |  Centre for Emotions, University of Western Australia The Intentionality of Spectatorship: Emotions in…

Exhibition Review | Monet’s Garden at the National Gallery of Victoria. Reviewed by David R. Marshall

The latest NGV exhibition is, again, sourced largely from a secondary French museum (the Musée Marmottan Monet, henceforth MMM). Monet exhibitions have traditionally draw large crowds, and are much loved by gallery directors needing to feed the political machines to which they are beholden that equate numbers with success. But if ‘Monet’ is the brand of brands for art exhibitions, for organisers there is the problem of finding new ways to give a Monet show intellectual credibility and thematic coherence, while marketeers may feel the need to enrich a brand that runs the risk of becoming stale. And, given the economics of international exhibitions in Australia, the bulk of the works need to come from a single source. Hence Monet’s Garden.

‘Monet’s Garden’ is an idea rich in possibilities: it connects cultural tourism (a trip to Giverny) with high-art glorification of artistic genius. While previous NGV exhibitions have emphasised, through videos, places associated with the objects on display (notably the Musée Moreau in the Moreau exhibition and Malmaison with Napoleon), Monet’s Garden takes the place/artwork nexus one step further. I once taught a subject in art history on the history of gardens called Visions of Paradise: Art of the Garden, a title stolen from a picture book by Marina Schinz, and did a week on Monet and Giverny. One of the essay questions was whether Monet was a better gardener than painter. This generated some interesting responses. By asking this question one is forced to look at his Giverny paintings differently: as topographical painting, subordinate to the place represented, rather than a this-is-a-work-of-genius painting. It is quite intriguing, after studying the now well-known colour photos of Monet in his garden nearest the house (e.g. pp. xxiv-xxv of the catalogue) (Fig. 1), to be able to identity what the paintings actually represent. The strength of Impressionism was that it accepted the facts and went from there, so that its underpinning of visual factuality is there if you choose to look. A visit to the waterlily pond at Giverny makes you realise that his Nymphéas paintings are much more realistic than you had thought when you saw them in a gallery (Figs. 3, 14). This helps us to see Monet differently: as the last of the estate topographers, rather than as a wannabee modernist abstractionist.

Symposium | Impressions of Monet

Impressions of Monet | Monet’s Garden To celebrate the most extensive exhibition of Monet’s work ever to travel to Australia the NGV is holding a symposium with local and international experts that will explore key themes of the exhibition. The symposium is generously supported by the Australian International Cultural Foundation, an affiliate of Art Exhibitions Australia. Program Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV | Welcome Colta Ives, Curator Emerita, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York | Monet: Impressionist in the garden Marianne Mathieu, Assistant Director and Curator, Musée Marmottan Monet | Impressionism at the Marmottan Sophie Matthiesson, Curator, International Art, NGV | Monet’s political garden Prof Emerita Virginia Spate, University of Sydney | Paint and water Dr Matthew Martin, Assistant Curator, International Decorative Arts and Antiquities, NGV | Inside Monet’s house at Giverny Date: Saturday 11th May, 1:30-5pm Venue: BBDO Clemenger Auditorium,…

Exhibition Review┃Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart, Paintings 1940-2011. Reviewed by Chris van Rompaey

Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart, Paintings 1940-2011 Chris van Rompaey Jeffrey Smart’s work has long been notable for its hard-edged representation of urban wastelands in a manner that is at once poetically resonant and uncompromisingly classical. A recent retrospective, originally shown at two Adelaide venues and subsequently, in part, at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, will be remembered as a fitting tribute to the career of this major Australian artist. Curated by Barry Pearce, the exhibition was split between the formative work of Smart’s Adelaide years and that of the five plus decades following his move to Sydney. It is the latter period, from 1955 to 2011 and encompassing his time in Sydney, Rome and Tuscany, that formed the focus of the TarraWarra exhibition. The tripartite division of the gallery space lent itself seamlessly to a structure which emphasised…

Exhibition Review | Louise Bourgeois and Australia. Reviewed by Anthony White

There are many reasons to celebrate the work of Louise Bourgeois at this particular time and in this specific place. Her powerfully moving works have cemented her place in the canon of significant twentieth and twenty-first century artists, not least of all in Australia because of the strong affinities between the artist’s work and that of several painters and sculptors working in this country.

Symposium | Bacon’s Bodies

Francis Bacon symposium: Bacon’s bodies Perspectives on the continuing significance of the art of Francis Bacon to coincide with the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ current exhibition Francis Bacon: five decades. This symposium considers the body as subject, the physicality of painting and the continuing significance of Francis Bacon’s body of work. Speakers will address this theme in relation to Bacon’s material practice, his studio (now preserved at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane), as well as history, politics, food, and sexuality. Speakers Anthony Bond (director, curatorial Art Gallery of NSW & curator, Francis Bacon: five decades) | Nicholas Chare (Department of Gender Studies, University of Melbourne) | Barbara Dawson (director, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane) | Andrew Durham (conservator, ArtLab Australia, formerly of the Tate Gallery, London) | Macushla Robinson (assistant curator, Francis Bacon: five decades) Date: Saturday 9…

Lecture | Jeffrey Smart: A voyage around stillness | Barry Pearce

Jeffrey Smart: A voyage around stillness Barry Pearce SOLD OUT but tickets available for lecture on March 10th by Leon van Schaik Exhibition on until March 31st 2013.   Lecture by Barry Pearce, Curator of Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart paintings 1940-2011 and Emeritus Curator, Art Gallery of NSW. This special lecture by the exhibition curator will focus on Jeffrey Smart’s preoccupation with time and stillness, and the eternal contradiction of those two elements within his technological landscape vision, which is finally resolved in the artist’s very last painting, Labyrinth, completed just before his retirement in 2011. Date: 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Sunday 10 February 2013 Venue: Tarrawarra Museum of Art, 311 Healesville – Yarra Glen Rd, Healesville Bookings: Bookings essential, limited numbers, $20 adults, $15 students. Book online at www.twma.com.au or email museum@twma.com.au or phone (03) 5957 3100 About the Exhibition: TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA),…

Exhibition Review | J.W. Power: Abstraction – Création Paris 1934. Reviewed by Sheridan Palmer

 J.W. Power: Abstraction – Création Paris 1934 Reviewed by Sheridan Palmer J.W. Power: Abstraction – Création Paris 1934, Sydney University Art Gallery, open now until January 26th, 2013. On the fiftieth anniversary of the J. W. Power bequest to the University of Sydney, an exhibition and catalogue produced by the University Art Gallery and Power Institute revives Power the artist, who in Australia has until now been largely eclipsed by his philanthropy. The Power Bequest, at the time close to £2,000,000, was initially announced in 1961 and was intended to support the study of the Fine Arts and in particular the understanding of contemporary art. It came with a remarkable archive including Power’s papers — now held at the National Library of Australia — and some 1170 of Power’s own works of art. These range from his more juvenile Edwardian studies executed…

Exhibition Review | Sydney Long: The Spirit of the Land. Reviewed by Caroline Jordan.

Sydney Long: The Spirit of the Land Reviewed by Caroline Jordan Only at the National Gallery of Australia, 17 August—11 November, 2012, with a catalogue by Anne Gray and Roger Butler. Exhibition is closed but the website and image galleries are still available on the NGA website here. Sydney Long is one of the painters I like to visit when I go to Sydney. The AGNSW holds some of his iconic works: the pale-skinned boys river bathing in By Tranquil Waters (1894) (Fig. 1), the nymphs and satyrs gambolling in the Austral twilight in Pan (1898) (Fig. 2), an Aboriginal maiden playing a pipe to a flock of magpies in The Music Lesson (1904) (Fig. 3), and the swirling decorative panel Fantasy (Fig. 4). Add to this Brisbane’s blithe nymph leading on a flock of brolgas in Spirit of the Plains…