Saturday, 13 April 2013

Old stamping ground

The recent journey west culminated in another kind of journey with a visit to the Art Gallery of South Australia where I managed to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones as well. This beautiful institution is where my love of art started and many hours have been spent within it's galleries. One thing I like about being there is you 'feel' like you are in a great art gallery, and with the major Turner from the Tate show on at the time, in the presence of a great master. And what a knockout of a show, beautifully presented and lit, chronologically laid out, with the end result being that you are left in no doubt at all about Turner's place as one of the greatest painters ever. The works just shimmered off the walls. And a nice surprise to see a Turner from the National Gallery of Victoria as well. I have spent many hours admiring this work and trying to see it from the perspective that Turner did and when I finally did 'see it' it was a moment of enlightenment in the appreciation of art. This may be a garbled stream of consciousness but hey, it's been that sort of week...

J.M.W Turner, A mountain scene, Val d'Aosta, c.1845, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Victoria

On the way to the Turner an obligatory stop at the Dusan Marek wall to pay homage to the man who started me on the surrealist path, and to acknowledge the role my mum played in introducing me to him...

 

With my new interest in video, it was a timely reminder of the fact that Marek was experimenting with film way back during the 50's when I was still a toddler. More recent video work of Adelaide artist Bridgette Minuzzo was of interest...


 Bridgette Minuzzo, Of light and clouds, 2013, Digital animation

Also spotted Tim Johnson, who would probably be arrested today for filming on the streets mini-skirted girls and women dealing with gusts of wind...

Tim Johnson, Public fitting, 1972, 16mm film

Particularly liked this work from Burma. Kinda drove it all home in a fatalistic way...

Death, Third of the Four Sights seen by Prince Siddharta, c.1900

Makes one wonder what the other three sights were...I am sure it wasn't the video nearby from Russian collective AES+F...

AES+F, Sacred allegory, 2010-11, 3 channel video

I have no idea at all what AES+F are up to in their work, either at this size or the giant installation tableaux at MONA in Hobart, but whatever it is, they do it technically very well, and certainly take this weeks prize for 'weirdness'...and then in the last gallery on the way out my favourite work when I was a child...

 William Adolphe Bouguereau, Virgin and Child, 1888, oil on canvas

Now, I wonder where my interest in sex, death, the church and eroticism stems from?

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