No Photography, Flash or Otherwise

3 Apr

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March 19, 2012

We got off to a slow start, first waking up later than we’d planned and also taking a couple of hours to begin planning our upcoming road trip to Melbourne and journey along The Great Ocean Road. We booked a few hostels in the towns along the way to Melbourne that Jamie recommended, Bega and Lakes Entrance, before getting on our way to the National Gallery of Australia. Jamie had given us 2 free tickets to the gallery that was featuring a rare Renaissance exhibit that featured art that had never before been outside of Europe.

Since essentially the only thing we did that day was visit the gallery and cook Jamie dinner, I decided I would write a very informal review of the work we saw for all of the artsy fartsies out there (note: I have absolutely no art history background, other than my Mum would always hang Monet prints in our bathrooms at home). Also, this particular gallery didn’t allow photography, flash or otherwise, so photos I have from this day are limited in terms of selection.

Renaissance

Artist: Maestro dei Cartellini
Piece: Saint Peter
Thoughts: I loved the rare use of different materials used to create this piece: tempera, gold, wood and plaster on wood panel.

Artist: Jacobello di Antonello
Piece: Madonna and Child
Thoughts: The background story of this piece was really interesting. Jacobello was the son of a famous Sicilian painter, Antonello de Messina. Antonello’s will read that any unfinished pieces were to go to his son, Jacabello, and that he was free to complete the piece as he wished. This painting was started by Antonello and completed by Jacobello as a tribute to his father.

Artist: Lorenzo Lotto
Piece: The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Thoughts: The first thing you notice about this piece is the large grey rectangle at the top and to the right. This corner was cut out by a French soldier who wished to take it as a souvenir. The hope is that one day the corner that was taken will be reunited with the rest of the painting.

Minimalism and Conceptual Art

Artist: Jo Baer
Piece: Untitled
Thoughts: This piece was 2 identical and equal sized canvasses placed side by side. A black frame was painted around the canvas and a thinner orange frame was painted inside that. The middle of the canvas remained white. I walked away wondering who had decided this was art and also wondering how much the gallery paid to acquire the piece (hopefully it was gift).

Artist: Ellsworth Kelly
Piece: Orange Curve
Thoughts: Accurately named as the only thing on this canvas was half of an orange oval filled in. I was starting to think that even I could have a career in minimalist and conceptual art.

Artist: Lynda Benglis
Piece:
Untitled
Thoughts:
This piece was made of polyurethane foam and struck a strong resemblance to a pile of melted peanut butter. No points for creatively naming the piece.

Pop Art

Artist: Jasper Jones
Piece:
Figures 0 – 9
Thoughts:
There were 10 canvases all of equal size and each one displayed a black and white number from 0 – 9 in a unique way. Sounds simple but I really liked it.

Artist: Andy Warhol
Piece:
Elvis
Thoughts:
I’m a sucker for most things Andy Warhol and this was no exception. He made Elvis look like the quintessential American gangster – very Pulp Fiction and Al Pacino in look and feel.

Artist: Andy Warhol
Piece:
Electric Chair
Thoughts:
I love everything about this from the off-centre framing to the colours used (fluorescent pink and fluorescent yellow-green) to the stencil-like imagery.

Artist: Christo – Artist, Harry Shunk – Photographer
Piece:
Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, One Million Square Feet, Sydney, Australia
Thoughts:
Christo had this drop-off rock face wrapped and draped in white material. This is a live art installation that Harry Shunk photographed to share with visitors of the gallery. Makes for a weird and wonderful photo.

Fauvism and School of Paris

Artist: E.O. Hoppé
Piece:
L’oiseau de feu
Thoughts:
The first 3 photos in this series of 4 looks like photos we have of my great-grandmother (Nanny) as a dancer.

We left the museum to pick up the ingredients for dinner with Jamie and spent the rest of the evening swapping travel stories and watching Jamie’s sky-diving video (which Uncle Jimmy took him to do – I can’t picture prim and proper war-vet Uncle Jimmy being Jamie’s support on this wild adventure!) and for the first time being able to see our group video of the Death Ride in Bolivia.

 

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