Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gallery 9 - Craig Waddell

This new work is sumptuous again and thickly applied, probably this is why I couldn’t get any paint at the paint shop the other day. Just kidding!

Voluptuously painted, showing off the costumes of the day and giving the masters a run for their money. I loved Craig’s last show and I love this one, his approach to painting and not being afraid of running towards the bull at full pelt.

My favourites would have to be ‘The Widowed (after Velazquez) and if you look at the surface of the painting you will see how lovely and textured it is, offering us a bit of substance. The skin tones are a delight and the wild coiffed hair is marvelous.

‘Progression (after Velazquez)’ is magical in it’s bold reds and expressive detailing in the old man’s face.

When I went and saw the show after missing the opening I had the whole gallery to myself and I could have reached out and touched a few of the works but didn’t as I probably would have left lots of finger prints all over them from just wanting to touch them.

‘Velvet Dreams (after Velazquez)’ has been painted till he was blue in the face, well maybe not, it’s a wonderful rendition of the long face and the lace collar, stunning.

‘The Longing (after Gainsborough)’ I do believe that Gainsborough would have been impressed, the wanting look, the frills and again coiffed to an inch of it’s life. It’s a beauty.

‘The Sitter (after Rembrandt) has the hardest edge of all the portraits in this show but at the same time it still holds it’s allure and fascination of the original.

I’ve just experienced for the first time sitting for a portrait for the Archibald, I tried to remain composed but I kept saying funny things which made us both laugh, I have an enormous respect for portrait painters of studying one face for hours and hours and I bet back in Rembrandt’s day no one was laughing.

And in Craig’s case it’s ‘Quantity and Quality’ that counts!

Fleur MacDonald

22nd February - 17th March 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Anna Schwartz Gallery - Marco Fusinato

My very first visit to the Anna Schwartz Gallery and I was truly gobsmacked. With a commanding entrance luring me in and wishing I’d worn my skates.

‘There is no Authority’ is a direct response from the youth of the 70’s punk band Crass. I would have been lost in a field of ignorance if I had not known about this. Music genres create wild reactions from the youth that listen. They want to move forward to a better life and they want who is in control of their lives to listen to them.

It also started it’s life out as a curtain behind the band at the back of the stage and has since gravitated to the arena sized floor space of this gallery.

It’s one really big and beautiful work and I wasn’t sure whether or not I could walk on it until I saw the gallery Director walk on it. It felt lovely under foot, spongy and soft to touch and when the crowd started to grow and people were mingling around it and sitting on it I really wanted to get down and roll on but if I had I would not have been able to get back up.

You had to walk past it and then walk all the way down to the video monitor attached to the wall and then watch yourself appear on the screen, kind of liked how it was a delayed reaction and gave us something to talk about around the tasty cheese wheel.

It truly is a spectacle and one work that should not be missed.

Fleur MacDonald

11th February - 17th March 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Martin Browne Contemporary - Peter Cooley

This show ‘Through the Archipelago’, has everything a Parrot lover would want!

‘Pair of Cockatiels’, my heart filled with joy when I first saw these two little darlings poking there sweet yellow earthenware heads out of there earthenware tree homes. I checked the room sheet for how much they were and seriously considered making a purchase but alas I am in debt up to my eyeballs and was forced to listen to that little voice in my head, hopefully there will be a next time.

I loved them so much that I asked my niece to take a photo of them with me and have used it as the cover photo for Sixtoeight.

‘King Parrot’ has a regal stance about it, the powdery red head, beautiful striking green plumage atop of the shiny bronze glazed tree stump. This bird knows it’s place!

‘Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo’, is not a bird, that’s right but it thinks it’s a bird. Peter has this amazing ability to capture the essence of movement in earthenware even though the movement is very jarring, it’s abstract, it’s almost like the pieces are posing. Just like the ‘Major Mitchell Cockatoo 1-4’, you can see them slow dancing in their side step way. Even the glorious ‘Palm Cockatoo’ it’s form is pure abstraction.

That’s one of the aspects I love about Peter’s work, you are able to walk around it and see it in very different views. And for those tea drinkers you could have a set of ‘Major Mitchell Cups (Marquette's)’ or ‘4 Corella Cups (Marquette's)’ which would look fabulous on the side board.

Fleur MacDonald

2nd February - 26th February 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flinders Street Gallery - Black & White & Colour

Another first show for the year and a fabulous array of talent from the stable. So I am picking my favourites from this and first up is two wild and wonderful works by Floria Tosca, drawings on bleached Toad skin. I’m not a big fan of the Toad as I grew up with the Cane Toad in Central Queensland in the 70’s and there was a Bounty on it’s head, these works make me relieved that from a shameless pest there can be totally useful beauty.

A blast from the past of someone I have not seen in a long time and happy to see again and enjoyed looking at his new approach to his work, ‘thorns’ by Brett McMahon, it’s a huge departure to what I last saw he was doing. He’s not just a painter now, he’s playing with different mediums and creating a new persona as well. I like what I see and hope to see more.

An ode to Mike Kelly by Wade Owen shows off sensitive watercolour brush strokes. Love a great watercolour. Also from a favourite artist is the hauntingly beautiful mixed media on paper by Luke Crouch. Luke can do no harm. In the corridor are a couple of playful gouache’s by Josh Honeyman, love gouache. Also love Peter Nelson and his work, I’m not infatuated with him, he’s just a really nice guy with a wonderful creative and talented head on his shoulders.

Another artist that can do no wrong is Caz Haswell, always a surprise to see what Caz comes up with next, her work is charming, playful and intelligent.

OMG!!! As I missed her last show I just wasn’t sure what to expect, ‘You think you’re scared? I’m going to have to walk home alone’ by Halinka Orszulok is a masterpiece of pushing that button, tweaking a painting until it can’t be tweaked no more. Halinka knew exactly when to stop painting this lonely dark walk home alone as if Halinka has been in that situation many times to know exactly how the light falls on a dark forest edge of a clearing. It’s scarily surreal and I love it!

Fleur MacDonald

4th February - 25th February 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gallery 9 - Group Show

Group Show is the first show for the year from Gallery 9 and I’m a little bit late getting this post up but sometimes life gets in the way of things you have to do.

How can I go past a painting called ‘Blue Monday’ especially when my ring tone is the song, but I guess there is no reference to match but still I like the painting and ‘Yellow Sunday’ to by Tonee Messiah. And Rebecca Pearson can do no wrong in telling little memorable stories with her 6 works, I loved them all.

The three paintings of oversized book covers by Adam Norton are a stand out bringing their time aged appeal to the forefront revealing their inner beauty. I found them quite mesmerizing and I’m not sure why.

Simon Kennedy makes me want to be a landscape painter again in a big way, to just go out and find these rolling green hills and sit and paint them, very inspirational.

As I stood locked in a stare at ‘We gravitate toward you as day fades to night’ by Brett East and for some unknown reason at first thought I was looking at an erupting volcano but then realized it was an erupting paint tube in a delicious cerulean blue and thought I could reach out and touch it but had to hold back. Very cool painting!

‘Trans-Seasonal Problem Scenery’, by Michelle Hanlin is striking in it’s abstracted form and the muted colours used, I kinda like the moon like balls floating above the land. This work really makes you think.

Was a bit partial to ‘Joop Buis Still Life’ by Jelle van den Berg it’s sweet and simple and ‘Flame Tree, Plume Smoke, Bush and Lambs’ Wool’ by Anna Kristensen is to die for.

I swear this year is going to be wild and wonderful.

Fleur MacDonald

27th January - 18th February 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Damien Minton Gallery - Five Bells

First opening for the Damien Minton Gallery for 2012, it was on a warm Saturday afternoon and I was a little late so when I got there the speeches were on and as always no room to swing a cat. I snuck in and took some photo’s of the crowd and snuck back out onto the footpath for some air and a lovely chilled glass of wine.

Lots of work in this show, although I have to be honest but I think it was a little over hung but at the same time some great work on show in this wonderful gallery.

My favourites are ‘Breakfast in Sydney’ by Elaine Campaner, digital print on 100% cotton paper, it is the perfect breakfast landscape.

‘Time intime out’, mixed media by Alexander Jackson-Wyatt, liked it!

‘Night and Water’ oil and acrylic on canvas by Eric Niebuhr reminds me of my view which I love looking at.

‘Botany Bay’ oil on canvas by Becky Gibson is so Sydney and a lovely moonlit landscape.

Fan Alert!!! ‘Five Bells’, oil on canvas by Euan Macleod is fantastic!!

All of the window wire and wool works by Clarrice Collien, these are truly a delight.

Always have been a fan of Tim Johnson and always will be.

And finally love this work by Liane Rossler, ‘Happy New Year’, hama beads is Sydney all over and it exudes such happiness.

Make a visit to the loo to for some Sydney inspired works from the Gallery's collection, so yes Damien Minton welcome to 2012...

Fleur MacDonald

1st February - 18th February 2012