Last month we visited Melbourne for a couple of days for my partner’s work function … but I had to make sure we squeezed in a visit to the National Gallery Of Victoria (NGV) for some art inspiration! Unfortunately, we didn’t get time to visit NGV Australia … definitely next time! Here’s a summary of my favourites from the Gallery:
I had come to the NGV International mainly to see the Australian Tapestry Workshop tapestries hanging in the main hall space … the NGV is such a massive space, we couldn’t figure out where that was – until we saw them from the floor above by accident!
Roger Kemp (designer) – woven and interpreted by weavers at The Australian Tapestry Workshop
Above this space is the beautiful stained glass ceiling designed by Australian artist Leonard French – it is apparently the largest stained glass ceiling in the world.
Leonard French, stained glass ceiling
This is my personal favourite – Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Eldos’ sculpture – I was not prepared for how beautiful it is in real life!
Barbara Hepworth – ‘Eldos’, 1947 – stone sculpture
After watching Andrew Graham-Dixon’s amazing film about Edward Burra called ‘I Never Tell Anybody Anything‘, I was excited to see one of his works in the NGV. Such an amazing and underrated artist, I highly recommend the film!
Edward Burra – ‘Peter and the High Priest’s servant’, 1952
Of course, seeing a Mark Rothko painting ‘in the flesh’ was amazing … though I must confess I walked straight past the Andy Warhol print that others were crowing around 😉 Very hard to capture the intensity of the colour on my phone camera – so you’ll just have to see it for yourself!
Mark Rothko – ‘Untitled (Red), 1956
Another artist introduced to me by an Andrew Graham-Dixon documentary is Philip Guston – another recommendation is Art Of America (part 1, part 2 and part 3). What a powerfully aggressive piece!
Philip Guston – ‘Night’, 1972
This David Hockney piece is not what I was expecting … it has a very sinister undertone. It’s constructed of oil, gouache and collage of torn wallpaper on canvas.
David Hockney – ‘The Second Marriage’, 1963
NGV has an impressive collection of Bauhaus pieces too – this lamp stood out for me! Pity they didn’t have any Bauhaus textiles though …
Wilhelm Wagenfeld (designer) – Table lamp, c. 1924
I’d never heard of this artist before, and would like to find out more about her – Margit Pogany was a Hungarian artist who migrated to Australia in 1948.
Margit Pogany – ‘The horsemen of the apocalypse’, 1942
While this next painting isn’t (in my opinion) aesthetically beautiful, it attracted me due to it’s sculptural quality of the paintwork … the roughness and almost aggressive paint application matches the subject rather well.
Frank Auerbach – ‘Oxford Street building site II’, 1960
There was also a great exhibition there called ‘Nordic Cool‘, which very much appealed to me – very hard to get pictures of these works, as it was in a rather dark ‘Decorative Arts Passage’, but these pics give you a feel for it.
Louis Poulsen & Co, Copenhagen (designer Paul Henningsen) – artichoke lamp (1960) / Oria Molgaard Nielsen and Peter Hvidt designers – Ax Armchair (1950)
Stig Lindberg, designer, manuf. by Gustavsberg around late 1940s
I’m well aware that all of the pieces I have posted are 20th century … this was not deliberate, but seems to be the era that I am most drawn to. That, and also the fact that we were visiting a very large gallery with an 8 year old (who held up very well considering we were in the gallery for quite a long time!), so we whizzed past a lot of the ‘old masters’, as I wanted to see who I was most inspired by.
This is definitely a place that needs to be visited in quite a few ‘stages’ 😉 I hope you’ve enjoyed by quick visual tour of my favourites!!