Melbourne is a city renowned for its fantastic arts and culture scene, and I agree wholeheartedly. Quite simply it’s a superb city for contemporary art, both Australian and international. Whereas Sydney seemed to focus all its efforts on the latter. Melbourne appears to champion them both equally and gains extra credit for its all encompassing permanent collections at the National Gallery of Victoria: Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square.
Blown away by this gallery in particular. Not only did they have a superb selection of new contemporary art. You then had the delights of the best Australian aboriginal art that I’ve ever seen anywhere. Completely mesmerising, an array of glorious paintings and consequently a wonder to behold due to their uniqueness in style and narrative. Aboriginal art has this quality that only it possesses. A down-to-earth sensibility such is their affinity with the roots of their country that only they understand.
There are too many paintings to mention and even though I have some favourites there are so many artists its hard to pinpoint a select few, but here goes…
The main NGV gallery delights you in their mix of fine Asian art, true buddhas and remaining pieces of Kymer temples. Combined with a fine contemporary art twist featuring the likes of Hockney, Rothko, Picasso, Monet, Warhol to YBA original, Tracey Enim.
Moving onto the NGV Potter Centre is where it became more immersive, and impressive. A new temporary exhibition featured artwork by the likes of renowned Bridget Riley ‘Turquoise, Olive & Magenta Verticals’ to Angela Bullock’s ‘Short, Big, Yellow Drawing Machine’ creating its own painting based on sound alone, allowing it to make layer after layer of tone. Tomislav Nikolic’s ‘3. We all have a Dream of a Place where we Belong’ a sublimely dreamy painting with fervent green neon border that ‘pops’ upon sight (I’d love to have this in my lounge). David Harley’s graffiti digital print ‘Haywire’ to Jan Van Der Ploeg’s ‘Wall Painting No 4’, a zippy orange and white graphic zig zag feature wall that couldn’t get any bigger if it tried. Alongside two oscillating fans competing against each other yet holding up a ribbon in its wake.
Just a few that make up the ‘The Kaleidoscope Turn‘ focusing into space, light, movement, opticals and colour… a combined redefinition of boundaries. And this is only Part 1!
|Melbourne city skyline along the Yarra River|
|Restoration, cleaning and preserving an old masterpiece in progress|