Versailles – Treasures from the Palace @ National Gallery of Australia

This exhibition draws on a world that does not exist in Australia. If you walk through large public buildings in Australia you mainly see understated and sleek. The French Louis era was the opposite – over the top bling encrusted grand scale in everything.

The National Gallery has some disadvantages as an art space but when you bring in grand scale works it comes into its own. There are tapestries that seem to be the size of the house I live in right now. There are rooms in the display that are almost the scale of the palace at Versailles itself.

The choice of objects to come to Australia are varied – ranging from a large fountain and grand scale paintings and tapestries to statues and furniture and crockery. As you would expect there is nothing in the space that is not gorgeously and elaborately designed and decorated. A thing I love about this exhibition is the context of housing these objects inthe NGA which is unfinished concrete and glass brutalism.


Some pics below:

20161231_105557 20161231_110414 20161231_111831 20161231_112155 20161231_112311 20161231_112520 20161231_115910 20161231_120135 20161231_120322 20161231_120520 20161231_111831-copy 20161231_105811-copy 20161231_110535-copy 20161231_110603-copy

Masterpieces from the Hermitage; The Legacy of Catherine the Great @ National Gallery of Victoria

The blurb for this exhibition begins Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great showcases one of the world’s greatest art collections. Featuring works by artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez and Van Dyck, the exhibition offers a dazzling array of works including the finest group of Dutch and Flemish art to come to Australia.
The experience is wonderful They have painted the walls luxurious colours of reds and aquas. They have created both real archways between rooms and also screens shaped the same ways with videos playing on them that show what it would be like to walk through the corridors of Catherine’s Palace.

The paintings are a selection from an awe inspiring collection of art bought by Catherine through decades of seeking out great European Art and buying it to bring back to Russia. There are huge portraits and landscapes. There are historical record type paintings and lots of material that gives a fabulous insight into the world of Europe in the centuries before Catheirne.

Several layouts of remarkable tableware are displayed in big glass cabinets that give the visitors a fabulous look into the arts and decorative artisans of the era. One of the staff said there were over 300 works on display in the exhibition from the Hermitage. It is a privilege to be able to see all this sumptuous art in one location so close to home.

20151009_152447 20151009_152548 20151009_153839 20151009_154218 20151009_154434 20151009_154921 20151009_155224 20151009_160635 20151009_160759 20151009_160825

Painting in Paris Kirrily Humphries and Yioryios @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

15 – 25 October 2015
The two artists in the current show at CCAS Manuka bhave both done residencies in Paris. Kirrily Humbphries has on the walls eight works including two paintings and six graphite minitures. Every one of these works ooses Paris, its buildings, its street life and its people.Yioryios has a set of acrylic painted swirling sculptural object smade of aluminium. They are sweeping and swirling and strikingly coloured.
below is the gallery material and some pics from the show








Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas. Daumier @ National Gallery of Australia

I saw this exhibition in the weeks immediately after the Charlie Ebdo killings. The roots of that culture is clearly on the walls in this material. The strikingly confronting nature of Daumier’s work is visible even when one does not know the exact context of the work. I have known and liked the work of Toulouse Lautrec since a mate took me to a great gallery in Lautrec’s home town in France over 40 years ago.  His gift for capturing the exuberant nature of life in Paris in his era has a vibrancy about it after more than a century. While most of my exposure to Degas has been in his watercolours to see the great black and white and fine pen work was a treat. This show is one of those that exposes the depth of the National Gallery’s collection from this era. Their curators choose well and the display is wonderfully engaging in both its artistic richness and its historical insight.

IMAG3656 IMAG3657 IMAG3663 IMAG3678 IMAG3710 IMAG3712 IMAG3721 IMAG3754 IMAG3757