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From the Gallery Director - Susi Muddiman

February 2018

A view of Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris - designed by architect Frank GehryA view of Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, designed by architect Frank Gehry
A chilled Susi in Paris.jpg
A chilled (literally) Susi in Paris at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
Nicola Hooper
Giant Flea & Zoonotic wallpaper 2017
Hand coloured lithographs digitally printed onto paper and board
I have just returned to work following a wonderful holiday in Europe and Hong Kong. I thoroughly enjoyed my time away, and have been inspired by the many art galleries and museums I visited in London, Paris and Hong Kong during my travels. During my brief stay in Paris, I made an effort to only visit museums and galleries that I hadn’t enjoyed on previously. I have some new favourites, and there’s a couple I must mention, just in case you have travel plans. One is the Musée Marmottan Monet. Originally a hunting lodge for the Duke of Valmy, the stately building which houses this outstanding collection is located at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, and was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882. He bequeathed it to his son Paul. Paul Marmottan had an interest in the Napoleonic era, and expanded his father's collection. He bequeathed his home and collection to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, which opened up as the Museum Marmottan in 1934. Today the Musée Marmottan Monet features a collection of over 300 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Claude Monet (with the largest collection of his works in the world), Berthe Morisot , Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In addition, the museum houses stunning illuminated manuscripts and the Marmottan’s collection of Napoleonic era art and furniture as well as Italian and Flemish primitive paintings.

The other cultural destination in Paris I wanted to mention to you is the new(ish) Fondation Louis Vuitton, which is also located in the Bois de Boulogne, adjacent to the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the building is absolutely stunning. The exhibition on display was Being Modern: MoMA in Paris, which was a pure delight, but the real joy for me visiting this museum was to observe how the visitors interacted with the architecture and its incredible design. From the outside of the building I wondered how there could possibly be enough usable wall space, but Gehry’s design is extraordinary and there are floors of exhibition spaces which all flow seamlessly. I would highly recommend a visit to this new Parisian cultural institution – you won’t be disappointed!

On home ground, I was delighted to come back to work and see the hang of the new exhibitions here. I had been looking forward to seeing the new Michael Cook show from our collection Object on the wall, as well as the new touring exhibitions and the body of work by hardworking regional artist Phil Barron. The Gallery looks great, and it is so nice to see visitors enjoying the current exhibitions over the holiday period. Before we know it though, it will be time to install the next round of exhibitions in the last week of February! I’m looking forward to hosting these too, including the touring exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia Abstraction: celebrating Australian women abstract artists. The Gallery is lucky to be one of the five venues to host this exhibition. The dates for this exhibition are 2 March – 20 May 2018.

Women artists have been at the forefront of the development of abstraction and yet, until recently, their contribution has been largely overlooked. There’s no doubt that Abstraction is one of the most influential developments in art history, evolving from avant-garde movements in Europe at the end of the 19th Century. This exhibition examines how abstraction has continued to flourish, and how Australian women artists have championed abstraction and incorporated the styles into their practice.

This exhibition follows the work of progressive women artists in Australia and their response to abstraction from the 1920s onwards. It includes stunning works by artists including Dorrit Black, Grace Crowley, Melinda Harper and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. We’ll have some excellent programs to complement this exhibition, and it will be a thrill to have some our colleagues from the National Gallery in Canberra visiting us here in Tweed.

The Anthony Gallery will look grand too displaying the print work of well-known Australian printmaker Andrew Antoniou. Andrew’s work is represented in the Gallery’s collection, and this exhibition, titled Curtain Call, related to the artist’s interests in the theatre, particularly in relation to the Absurdist Theatre movement. Andrew’s interest in this theatre genre incorporates the style’s utilisation of symbolism, metaphor and satire. As a result, the artist’s works are quite dense and rich, with much detail in the figurative cast of characters which relay the narrative. The exhibition is aptly titled, and is bound to excite your imagination as the plots of the scripts and the prints are revealed.

The Gallery’s Community Access Exhibition Program (CAEP) is an important part of the Gallery’s operation. Available as a proposal program, the CAEP has seen many regional artists mount their first solo exhibitions. The aim of the program is to provide regional artists with a professional venue for exhibitions of their new work, and we are so pleased to assist artists through this valuable program in providing professional development and raising their profile in the region and beyond. Artist Nicola Hooper is one such artist whose new work will be displayed in the Boyd Gallery via the CAEP in her upcoming exhibition Zoonoses. The work in this show will be predominantly works on paper, incorporating prints, artist books and wallpaper. The unusual title refers to animal diseases that cross over to humans. It is fascinating to learn that 75% of all new human diseases have their genesis within animal hosts, and Nicola’s use of printmaking, and lithography in particular, examines how visual narratives, myths and rhymes can help in providing an understanding of the perception of animals in the context of fear of disease. Lithography has a long history in publishing and storytelling, so Nicola has explored some potentially frightening and emotive issues to visually engage us with some scary subject matter!

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website for all details about upcoming public programs and events via the Exhibition News. There’s a plethora of information on our website, or you are more than welcome to contact us by email on or phone 02 6670 2790.

Until next time

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