Tag: Exhibition Review

Exhibition Review | ‘Portrait of a Lady: Sir John Longstaff’, Shepparton Art Museum by Caroline Jordan

 Longstaff’s Ladies ‘Portrait of a Lady: Sir John Longstaff’, Shepparton Art Museum, 18 February—22 April 2012. Curated by Susan Gillberg. Reviewed by Caroline Jordan John Longstaff (1861–1941) was a tall poppy in the Australian art world of the early twentieth century. The boy from Clunes, an historic little mining town near Ballarat, won the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Travelling Scholarship for his affecting narrative painting of a young wife reeling in shock on hearing of the death of her miner husband in Breaking the News (1887, Art Gallery of Western Australia) (Fig. 1). This early success set the tone for a stellar international career.  Longstaff was a successful exhibitor where it really mattered—in the Salons of London and Paris—and was five times Archibald Prize winner at home. Longstaff was knighted in 1928 and in 1936 he co-founded the Art Gallery…

Review | Raffaello incontra Raffaello, Palazzo Barberini, Rome – Monique-Louise Webber

Exhibition Review Raffaello incontra Raffaello. Il Ritratto di giovane del Museo Thyssen Bornemisza e la Fornarina Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, 3 November 2011 – 29 January 2012 Reviewed by Monique-Louise Webber Aptly described as a ‘piccola mostra’ or ‘little exhibition’ in the wall text, Raffaello Incontra Raffaello, at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in the Palazzo Barberini, Rome (closed 29 January) invites reflection upon the nature of Raphael’s portraiture, and our response to it, through the comparison of two works. These are Portrait of a Young Man (c.1515) (Fig. 1), which has been attributed jointly to Raphael and an unknown assistant, and La Fornarina (1520) (Fig. 2). The juxtaposition of these works—the former owned by the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid and the latter by the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica—was made possible by the temporary exchange of Tintoretto’s…

Exhibition Review: Gabriel Metsu – National Gallery of Art, Washington by John Weretka

Exhibition Review Gabriel Metsu  1629–1667 National Gallery of Art, Washington April 17 – July 24 2011 Reviewed by John Weretka Difficult as this is to believe for a painter of his significance, this is only the second comprehensive exhibition of Gabriel Metsu’s work, the last having occurred in 1966. Although confined to just two rooms in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and exhibiting almost forty of the painter’s panels, this show nonetheless makes a significant contribution to the study of Metsu, a painter whose works are confined largely to two decades (the 1650s and 1660s) and number scarcely over 130. The first room of the exhibition is largely, though not wholly, dedicated to the genre works of the 1650s and the second to domestic interiors popularised by Vermeer that occupied Metsu increasingly in the…

John Weretka – Review: Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011

Exhibition Review Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011 Reviewed by John Weretka The eighteenth-century pastel portrait is the subject of a compact show of about forty images from 1711–1801 being hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (17 May 17–18 August 2011).  Too often derided as a minor art, placing it on a level with other domestic entertainments such as the silhouette, pastel is revealed in this show as a highly nuanced, delicate and beautiful art form that in a sense has suffered by being too closely allied to the tastes of its own time.  In fact, as the inclusion of pastels by artists working elsewhere in oils shows, pastel was a worthy subject of attention for artists who would otherwise make themselves known…

Exhibition Review: Caroline Jordan: Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed, at the National Gallery of Victoria

Exhibition Review ‘Terribly true to nature’: A review of Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, until 7 August 2011, followed by Brisbane and Canberra Reviewed by Caroline Jordan One of the big clichés of Australian art is that the first generation of landscape painters saw the landscape ‘through European eyes’. Fred McCubbin wrote in the 1890s that titans such as John Glover and Eugene von Guérard of the 1850s and 60s ‘ could not see the blue-green of the wattle… etc’. This was largely self-promotion on the part of McCubbin and his Australian-born Impressionist mates, artists of an up-and-coming generation who had been trained by von Guérard at the National Gallery School in the 1870s. As these Young Turks saw it, it fell to them to strip off the Old World blinkers and show the New…

Exhibition Review: Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity, Paris Musee D’Orsay – Victoria Hobday

Exhibition Review Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity Paris, Musée D’Orsay, 5 April – 17 July 2011 Reviewed by Victoria Hobday Spring weather has at last come to Paris and the Musée d’Orsay, on the banks of the Seine, is exhibiting one of France’s best-loved artists to welcome the season. Manet: The Man Who Invented Modernity, promises a fresh look at the work of this central artist of the late nineteenth century. The choice of a spring exhibition sits well with the vibrant palette and breezy brushwork of Manet. With the staging of the exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay or ‘Impressionism central’ many would indeed say that it is a return to the fold for the great Impressionist artist … mais non, non, non! As any student of  ‘Art History 101- From the Pyramids to Picasso’ thought they knew, Manet…

Exhibition Review: Lorenzo Lotto, Rome Scuderie del Quirinale, until 12 June. David R. Marshall

Exhibition Review Lorenzo Lotto Rome Scuderie del Quirinale, until 12 June Reviewed by David R. Marshall The last big Lotto show was in 1998, but I suspect this one doesn’t quite match it. The illustrations to the introductory essays in the catalogue indicate the ones that got away. But even so, this is an impressive exhibition, mainly for the altarpieces. For those who do not know the Scuderie, it is the old papal stables on Piazza del Quirinale. It has two long and wide floors that once housed horses. It is one of the best Roman venues, as these spaces are roomy and flexible, although the transition between levels can be awkward. In this case the lower floor is devoted to large altarpieces. These are mounted above altar-table like structures on a plinth, which sets them at a good height…

Review – Watteau: The Drawings. Royal Academy, London. 12 March – 5 June 2011. David R. Marshall

Watteau: The Drawings Royal Academy, London. 12 March – 5 June 2011 Reviewed by David R. Marshall This exhibition is organized for the Royal Academy and curated by Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, and based on their 1996 catalogue of Watteau drawings. In his essay Prat points out that the number of drawings (90) is less than at the big Watteau exhibition of 1984-85, but that the selection is more focused and unproblematic. The bulk of the drawings are from the Louvre and British Museum, but there are a number from other collections not often seen. The drawings are displayed in the Sackler wing of the Royal Academy, already showing its age, with it’s weird open lift shaft between the exterior facades of two buildings, and gallery spaces that work well enough in a routine way. On a Monday lunchtime late…

Comment: Thoughts on the Aesthetic Movement Exhibition. David R. Marshall

Comment: Thoughts on the Aesthetic Movement Exhibition David R. Marshall These are some thoughts after seeing the exhibition, The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (till July 17th 2011, see the review by Kim Clayton-Green on the MAN website). What struck me about this exhibition was how familiar it was, on both a personal and intellectual level. On the personal level it helps one make sense of one’s own familial history: that photo of great-grandmother in strange loose fitting costume with metal armlets in a dirty green and gold frame, or that pair of brass candlesticks in the form of rearing cobras remembered from childhood and spotted in an obscure corner of the exhibition. But more importantly it was familiar ideologically. The idea that the purpose of art is to enrich the lives…

Review: The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900. Kim Clayton-Greene

Review by Kim Clayton-Greene of The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 The Victorian and Albert Museum, London 2 April – 17 July 2011 Reviewed by Kim Clayton-Greene ‘The Cult of Beauty’, brings together some of the finest objects and works of art produced by those artists and craftsmen who revolutionized late nineteenth-century British art and society.  As the introductory wall text states, these men and women were united by ‘the desire to escape the ugliness and materialism of the age and find a new beauty’. The exhibition begins by demonstrating the way this ‘new beauty’ manifested itself in all realms of art and life by placing immediately opposite the entrance door Frederic Leighton’s sculpture The Sluggard (1851) (Fig. 1), Edward Burne-Jones’s gilded, ornamental A Peacock (1886) (Fig. 2), Thomas Jeckyll’s…

Review – Pioneering Painters – Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900

Review by Kim Clayton-Greene of Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880– 1900 Pioneering Painters – The Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900 Royal Academy, London 30 October 2010—23 January 2011 Reviewed by Kim Clayton-Greene Presenting a relatively modest selection of works, the exhibition Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900, which recently closed at the Royal Academy, London (the version reviewed here), after an earlier run in Glasgow, still provided much to delight.  The works were rich and varied, at times pale and restrained and then bold and vibrant.  The exhibition, the first showing of the works of the Glasgow Boys in 40 years, showcases the works of the movement’s protagonists: Sir James Guthrie, Sir John Lavery, Arthur Melville, Edward Arthur Walton, George Henry and Edward Atkinson Hornel, and some others. The Glasgow Boys were a loose grouping of about 23 artists who worked,…

Review: Piers Baker-Bates, A Collector’s Eye: Cranach To Pissarro at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool 18 February–15 May 2011

A Collector’s Eye: Cranach To Pissarro at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 18 February–15 May 2011 Reviewed by Piers Baker-Bates. While exhibitions that showcase a private collection can be the proverbial curate’s egg both in terms of the quality of the works on display and their attributions, this new exhibition is never anything but stimulating and thought-provoking. The works come from what is described as ‘the Schorr Collection assembled by private collector David J. Lewis for his family interests’ which is ‘one of the largest collections of Old Master paintings amassed in England since World War II.’ David Lewis remains an anonymous figure throughout, and the visitor learns nothing about the man himself, but as a patron of art his particular taste is clearly signposted in the thematic notices that divide up the exhibition. Lewis has had a ‘professional’ adviser, Christopher…

Review ‘Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals’

Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals The exhibition finished at the National Gallery, London, on 16 January 2011. It runs at the National Gallery, Washington, from 20 February to 30 May 2011. Reviewed by David R. Marshall Canaletto is synonymous with Venetian view painting, and when you enter this exhibition you can see why: it looks like room after room of Canalettos. But gradually this impression resolves itself into several different painters and manners. Some have lamented the lack of the chronological organisation that informs most recent Canaletto and Bellotto exhibitions, but that would miss the point: this is an exhibition about comparisons, and the curator, Charles Beddington, has set up many interesting ones. However, when I saw it, on a Sunday morning near the end of its run, the crowds made it hard to see many of them: you were…

Review: David R. Marshall – Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine at the NGV

Gustave Moreau & the Eternal Feminine Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria 10 December 2010 – 10 April 2011 Reviewed by David R. Marshall Gustave Moreau (1826-1898) has always been hard to place. To his contemporaries he was an establishment painter distracted by eccentricity, and he did not fit the grand modernist narrative that lead from Impressionism to Modernism. He has settled down to being the precursor of Symbolism, the teacher who showed the way to Redon and the Symbolists but never quite made it there himself. But perhaps what emerges most from this exhibition is less his eccentricity or Symbolism than his obsessiveness. Why did he need to make so many studies, in so many various media and styles? He reminds me of his near contemporary Facteur Cheval (1836–1924), the obsessive French postman who single-handedly built a bizarre fantasy palace at…

Review: Takashi Murakami – The Fun King meets the Sun King

Takashi Murakami – The Fun King meets the Sun King Chateau de Versailles September 14 – December 12 2010 Reviewed byVictoria Hobday. Following the autumn throngs through the royal apartments at the Palace of Versailles one is struck by the diversity of nationalities, the amount of photographic equipment and the irritating background drone of audio-guides tuned to a multitude of languages with the volume cranked up. The self consciously regal decoration of the rooms still impresses with their grand scale and wonderful ceiling paintings, the parquetry in its distinctive squared pattern polished by the tread of a steady army of nike running shoes. In September 2008 Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the director of the Palace of Versailles, organised the first contemporary exhibition within the royal apartments of works by the American artist Jeff Koons [Slide show figure 1] The works created just…