What’s On At NGV In August/September 2016

MELBOURNE | There’s never any shortage of great things to see at the National Gallery of Victoria and in August and September there are a number of interesting free and paid exhibits which will be sure to stimulate and inspire. Here are a few of the highlights to look forward to this August/September.

John Olsen: The You Beaut Country

Entrance to the seaport of desire 1964 © John Olsen and Olsen Irwin
Entrance to the seaport of desire, 1964 © John Olsen and Olsen Irwin

John Olsen is one of Australia’s greatest living artists. Born in Newcastle NSW in 1928, Olsen is well known for his energetic and distinctive painting style and in particular for his lyrical depiction of the landscape. He is a major figure in the story of Australian art and his unique and sensual pictorial language presents a very personal view of the world.

John Olsen: The You Beaut Country offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine Olsen’s consummate place in Australian art history. His You beaut country series, which followed his return to Australia in 1960 after three years travelling in Europe, began what would be a lifelong interest in representing the landscape and Australian identity. These works are presented alongside his more recent paintings, prints and watercolours, including those inspired by the filling of Lake Eyre.

The exhibition reveals an artist who at 88 years of age has lost none of his passion for his subject matter, nor his creative vitality and retains a unique ability to capture the spirit of the Australian landscape.

Opens at NGV Australia on 16 September 2016. Admission fees apply.

A National Gallery of Victoria exhibition in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Italian Jewels: Bulgari Style

Tremblant brooch in platinum, emeralds and diamonds,1960 © Antonio Barrela, Studio Orizzonte Roma
Tremblant brooch in platinum, emeralds and diamonds, 1960 © Antonio Barrela, Studio Orizzonte Roma

The name Bulgari is synonymous with 1960s Italian glamour. Richard Burton famously quipped that in the nine months Elizabeth Taylor spent in Rome filming Cleopatra, she learned just one word of Italian — ‘Bulgari’.

Italian Jewels: Bulgari Style brings together Bulgari’s visionary creativity and the maison’s leading women in a spectacular display of film, photography and glittering jewels.

Showcasing the longstanding relationship between Bulgari, Rome and Hollywood cinema, the exhibition features exquisite jewels from the personal collections of Elizabeth Taylor and Gina Lollobrigida and favoured by prestigious patrons such as Anita Ekberg and Grace Kelly. Spectacular jewels worn on the red carpet by leading Hollywood starlets, such as Kiera Knightley, feature from the Bulgari Heritage Collection.

Opens at NGV International on 30 September. Entry is free.

Organised by the National Gallery of Victoria in collaboration with Bulgari Heritage.

Bruce Armstrong: An Anthology of Strange Creatures

Guardians, 1987 © Bruce Armstrong
Guardians, 1987 © Bruce Armstrong

One of Australia’s most acclaimed sculptors, Melbourne-based Bruce Armstrong is best-known for his monumental totemic figures which can be seen in public spaces around the country. Often hewn from massive pieces of red-gum, his birds, beasts and figures have a raw energy which assert a commanding presence and engage directly with the viewer.

Bruce Armstrong: An Anthology of Strange Creatures is a major survey of the artist’s work from the 1980s through to the present. It highlights his ongoing interest in mythological figures and his enduring preoccupation with the relationship between sculpture and architectural design. Drawing from both public and private collections, the exhibition brings together over thirty of the artist’s most memorable sculptures.

Opens at NGV Australia on 26 August. Entry is free.

Sally Gabori: Land of All

Dibirdibi country, 2008 © Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda/Licensed byViscopy
Dibirdibi country, 2008 © Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda/Licensed by Viscopy

This retrospective survey and celebration of the life and work of Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori c.1924–2015 features over thirty works on loan from Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. Gabori was a contemporary artist of considerable sophistication and dare and a distinguished senior Kaiadilt woman artist from Bentinck Island in the Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria. Her indefatigable zeal to communicate her stories, knowledge, and experiences accumulated over an incredible life — spanning over 90 years — won her great admiration and has left an astonishing cultural legacy.

The exhibition Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Dulka Warngiid – Land of All traces the stylistic trajectory of Gabori’s oeuvre, encompassing her earliest small-scale canvases of 2005, iconic large-scale collaborative works with other Kaiadilt women, her singular monumental canvases of daring colour juxtapositions, through to her almost monochromatic paintings and works on bark produced at the end of her career.

Gabori created a body of work, which expressed sensations of life and cultural memory in diaspora, and differed from other known forms of Aboriginal painting, which focused on story-telling. Most of Gabori’s works represent places on Bentinck Island of deep personal significance to the artist: her husband’s place, Dibirdibi Country, her father’s place, Thundi, her own Country, Mirdidingki, and the first outstation, Nyinyilki.

Gabori lived on Bentinck Island in accordance with custom, developing knowledge of Kaiadilt cartography and cosmology, until the entire population was removed to Mornington Island mission by European settlers in 1948.

Opens at NGV Australia on 23 September. Entry is free.

A Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Touring Exhibition.

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Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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