National Gallery of Victoria

French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

National Gallery of Victoria
by
01 July 2021

Given that the NGV has postponed Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2020: Pierre Bonnard until 2023 due to the pandemic, and that international borders will remain closed for the foreseeable future, it is a relief that this major exhibition has gone ahead, notwithstanding a month-long delay because of the latest lockdown. We are indeed fortunate to see Impressionist works from a renowned international museum like Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. French Impressionism, an exhibition of more than one hundred works, features Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cassatt, Sisley, Morisot, and Caillebotte. It includes seventy-nine works never before shown in Australia.

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She-Oak and Sunlight

National Gallery of Victoria
by
05 May 2021

I have frequented too often the gift shops of Australian Impressionism. Back in 1985, I mooned over David Davies’ Templestowe twilight scene before purchasing the corresponding tea towel (for my mum), Fire’s On placemats with matching coasters (for my dad), and lost child mugs (for my siblings, only one of whom took offence).

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TIWI

National Gallery of Victoria
by
01 March 2021

Today, our screen-filled lives both encourage and condition us – through our collective, incessant scrolling – to dip in and to consume; a modus operandi or malaise that affects both exhibition-making and the viewing habits of audiences that are increasingly enticed and rewarded by contemporary art as spectacle – art that is immersive, often participatory in some way, and that looks great on Instagram. TIWI, the major survey of Tiwi art at NGV Australia, stands in stark contrast to this phenomenon. It invites us to slow down in order to absorb the stories, connections, and extraordinary sense of cultural continuity that reverberates across the exhibition. It is at once a celebration and a joy to experience.

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NGV Triennial 2020

National Gallery of Victoria
by
04 January 2021

In Giambattista Battista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743–44) – a jewel in the NGV’s collection of eighteenth-century art – a dining table shows the Egyptian queen Cleopatra facing the Roman consul Mark Antony, her hand elegantly clasping a pearl earring that she is about to drop into a flute glass filled with vinegar, which she will subsequently drink. In doing so, the sheer value of the pearl will make Cleopatra the winner of a wager as to which of the two could stage the most extravagant feast.

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Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

National Gallery of Victoria
by
03 December 2019

In Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, the National Gallery of Victoria presents a double portrait of the late, iconic, New York-based artists Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) and Keith Haring (1958–90), becoming the first public museum to place their careers in direct dialogue. The retrospective presents many of both artists’ signature works. The vibrant juxtaposition creates a narrative of two ambitious rebels as rising stars in 1980s New York as well as a compelling snapshot of the heyday of the city’s bohemian Lower East Side.

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A shift in the European mind is taking hold. The stable democracies of Germany and the Netherlands contrast sharply with an unstable France and a demagogic Italy. The northern tier has an increasing authority, politically and culturally. Art historically, the Amsterdam–Berlin axis challenges the hegemony of the Paris–Rome accord ...

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Māori markings: Tā moko

National Gallery of Australia
by
25 March 2019

The traditional Western art museum is struggling a bit. Its former role as a repository of national values, as reified and aestheticised in paintings, sculpture, and the decorative arts, is today challenged if not assaulted on multiple fronts: ranging from economic, political, and social globalisation, to digital technology ...

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The Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher is one of the few twentieth-century artists who became almost universally known by the general public from the 1960s on. Constructed as visual paradoxes with impossible architectures, vaulting perspectives, and dramatic metamorphoses of form, his images startled ... ... (read more)

With a needle on cloth, Mary Jane Hannaford preserved her sharp observations of people as stout appliquéd figures set amidst interpretative renditions of Australian animals. Late in life she embroidered favourite verses and slyly captioned her pictures in quilts for her family. Close to one hundred ...

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Degas: A new vision is an exhibition of 206 works selected and presented by Henri Loyrette, the distinguished Degas scholar, former director of the Musée d'Orsay and subsequently director of the Musée du Louvre. In its range and variety the exhibition confirms the verdict of the writer and critic ...

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