Art Gallery of New South Wales
We can all be grateful for Kandinsky, this summer’s main exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It is a strong and balanced show by the most influential among the early practitioners of modern abstract art. There are four main collections of Kandinsky’s work worldwide, but the strongest one belongs to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It was formed from the late 1920s by Baroness Hilla von Rebay, a German artist advising one of America’s richest men, the Philadelphian-born mining magnate Guggenheim. Friends of the artist, in 1939 they founded the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, whose collections, two decades later, were housed in the celebrated spiral building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.... (read more)
This exhibition, alive with colour, is a gift to our grey summer. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) was already crowded at 10.30am on the first Sunday; our umbrellas were bagged, our raincoats cloaked. Matisse: Life and spirit, drawn mainly from the exceptional holdings of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is the first dedicated Matisse exhibition in Australia for twenty-six years. The Gallery carefully says this is the ‘largest collection of work by Matisse to be seen in Sydney’, but that understates the appeal of this lovely exhibition. It offers an incisive, intelligent, and thorough introduction to Matisse that is essential viewing; its generosity and subtlety will repay multiple visits. (I wish I were a kid again, could see Matisse for the first time.)... (read more)
The purpose of a retrospective exhibition is to reconsider, to come to fresh insights. Streeton, now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is the largest exhibition of the painter’s works since his 1931 lifetime retrospective, which was also at AGNSW (the current offering is only twenty works shy of that show’s massive total of 170). It’s a feast, one that enables us to reassess the great man’s art. And like all good retrospectives, it questions older certainties.... (read more)
Rainbows and bad losers
The mood outside the State Library of Victoria on 15 November 2017 was exultant – once the precarious line from Canberra had been restored and the ABS’s expatiatory chief statistician, David Kalisch, finally announced that ...