Australian Fine Artist

Exhibition at the Potter Centre for the NGV in Melbourne.

I had been looking forward to this exhibition for a while. It is a great follow on from the Monet exhibition in the NGV gallery on St Kilda Road. Naturally I have bought the book to read which will be a nice diversion in the weeks to come.

Getting on with the main event. What is so great with this exhibition is that I discovered ELEVEN women painters are represented! That is about half of the painters in this show. I knew about one of them, Jane Sutherland who was a brilliant Impressionist painter equal to her male peers of the time. I now have seen works by some other amazing women artists of the time. Some to look out for are Margaret Preston, Bessie Gibson, Kathleen O’Connor, Ethel Carrick, Iso Rae and Bessie Davidson.

There is a lot to this exhibition and I can’t cover it all in this blog, so I am going to hit some of the highlights.

One is about the first painting you see on entering, I LOVE it! The Garden, Longpré-les-Corps-Saints. Loads of mauves, creamy yellows and cool greens with a simple subject of a tree in blossom and hints of others in the background. A little Asian look to the composition, and lovely. There were some great landscapes and portraits by Charles Conder, beautiful portraits by E. Phillips Fox, a stunner by Tudor St George Tucker of Tea Trees near Sandringham which was also a favourite ,Young Girl on a Hillside by Walter Withers which has so much depth to it, outdoor scenes with people by Ethel Carrick that looked like she had a love of Renior  and several more.

There is so much to see in this exhibition that I will need another visit to it as well. I could see the influence of the great French and Dutch painters as I walked around without having to read the notes or a book! I saw van Gogh, Monet, Velazquez, Vermeer, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, even a little Rembrandt influencing the works to greater or lesser degrees! The colours used were also familiar. I am amazed that France didn’t run out of viridian paint at one stage, as it seems to have been a very popular colour!

I hope to follow up with another blog about this amazing exhibition in coming weeks as I revisit and make new discoveries. There are a lot of paintings and the variety includes touching on the neo-impressionist style as well as some fairly realist looking works along with the luscious painterly look we expect from impressionist paintings. The colours are gorgeous and it was so refreshing to discover such a great display of women artist’s works along with their male colleagues.

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