Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Tree form (detail).
Click here to see the full work... 

During my stay in Melbourne in January, I paid a visit (as I always do), to the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (the initials stand for National Gallery of Victoria).

This is one of the great Australian galleries, and its proximity to Federation Square and the heart of downtown Melbourne ensures that there is a constant stream of local and international visitors strolling the centre's wonderful galleries and excellent exhibitions. Entry to the general collection is free, while special exhibitions require paid entry.

The Ian Potter Centre is home to some of the most iconic works of Australian art from many of the country's most celebrated artists. Here you will find Russell Drysdale, Albert Tucker, Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts and many others.
Collins St, 5p.m. (detail).
Click here to see the full work...
"In the early 1950s John Brack adopted Melbourne's urban environment as his subject, recording the shops, bars and workplaces of the city with an ironic edge. In Collins St, 5pm, Brack's depicts Melbourne's financial hub at the end of the working day, it's uniformly dressed office workers streaming homeward. By personalising each figure Brack points to the enduring presence of the individual."
"Shearing the rams, (see image below) by Tom Roberts, is a response to the nationalistic sentiment that developed in Australia during the late 19th century. It reflects the emergence of a national identity defined through heroic rural activity and the economic importance of the wool industry.

The painting is based on a number of preliminary sketches that Roberts completed on the spot at Brocklesby Station, Corowa, New South Wales, in the late spring of 1888. He returned during the following two spring periods (shearing season) to work on the painting."
Jarlu Jukarrpa (detail).
Click here to see the full work...
Paddy Japaljarri Stewart was an Australian Aboriginal artist from Yuendumu, in the Northern Territory. Wikipedia provides this introduction to Mr. Stewart:

Paddy Japaljarri Stewart (circa 1940–2013) was an Australian Aboriginal artist from Mungapunju, south of Yuendumu. He was chairman of the Warlukurlangu Artists Committee. Stewart was one of the artists who contributed to the Honey Ant Dreaming mural on the Papunya school wall in 1971 - the very genesis of the modern Aboriginal art movement.

In 2004 Stuart Macintyre wrote in a A concise history of Australia that Paddy Japaljarri Stewart "...evokes the continuity of dreaming from Grandfather and father to son and grandson, down the generations and across the passages of time..."

Lost (detail).
Click here to see the full work...
"The theme of the lost child in the bush had a long literary and artistic tradition in Australia and was still topical during the 1880s. Lost was the first of Frederick McCubbin's 'national' pictures: paintings of Australian subjects which culminated in 1904 with The pioneer."

There is much to see and enjoy here, and the Ian Potter Centre is one place I make sure I visit over and over again whenever I am in Melbourne. Don’t miss it.

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Federation Square: Cnr Russell and Flinders Streets
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 
Ph: +61 3 8620 2222
Online at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia... 

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Shearing the rams (detail).
Click here to see the full work...

Note: unless otherwise noted, text in italics indicates content adapted from the information cards placed alongside each of the above works of art in the Ian Potter Centre.

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