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All About Art is a mixed group led by Barbara F and we meet on the second Sunday or first Monday each month.

This group is for those with an appreciation and interest in art. We are hoping to meet face-to-face this year to discuss art topics and, when possible, to visit gallery exhibits in small groups as Covid restrictions allow. This may be supplemented with some suggested electronic resources to view before we get together. 

 

* Sunday 11th April 2021 –  Purple Noon Gallery, Freeman's Reach

We will view the April exhibit Magical Mystical by Joanna Cole.

We will also go to Streeton's Lookout which is where he painted the Hawkesbury River.

The gallery is Covid safe and will monitor numbers in each of the 3 rooms.

RSVP Barbara F by 6 April


* Report for February

Eight Probians gathered at a Windsor café for lunch followed by a lively discussion on this month’s art topics.

Some of us were able to view the film Namatjira Project before it left iView and some of the comments made were:

* It whitewashed the topic.

* I have a Rex Battarbee (Namatjira’s mentor) artwork.

* Comparing Rex’s artwork to Albert’s shows that Rex was competent but Albert captured the emotional impact of his country.

* Albert and the family were treated very poorly and it was sad to see how he sold the copyright to his pictures. The money was made by others, not the creative artist.

* Many of these watercolours are now being shown at the National Gallery of Australia in a prominent location.

* It is positive that his children, grandchildren and future generations continue to paint and the money from the movie and the Belvoir St Theatre play enabled the copyright finally getting back to the family.

Many in our group were also able to view at a time of their choosing the Streeton retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW. There were many, many rooms full of his work over a lifetime and after the long lines to get tickets then long lines to get in to the actual exhibit, some energy was required to engage with all that art. He certainly did capture Australia’s light with paintings from the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains area of special interest. He also captured the different quality of light in London, Venice and Egypt. The biggest surprise was at the end of the exhibit. There we saw beautiful floral still life paintings of flowers from his garden in the Dandenongs during his later years.

Art is good for the soul and we are all very happy to get back to galleries now even with all the Covid changes. A great year ahead so why not join us next time?

…Barbara

 

 *Report for November 2020

It was an overcast day but not as cold or rainy as the day before and we all managed to stay dry and comfy undercover at Yolanda and Barry's patio for our end of year art event. In true Rouse Hill Probus form we began with morning tea and much lively chat...and it was face to face so that lifted all our spirits.

Yolanda, our local artist and fellow club member, had prepared an artistic treat for us. She presented a short talk about the evolution of abstract art complete with examples. This was followed with a demonstration of how to turn a realistic drawing into an abstract drawing in three or four quick steps. As she drew each sketch, we were fascinated to see how she accented some shapes, moved and flipped lines and ignored parts of the original drawing to create something new yet familiar. Step by step, she turned her drawing of a lamp and a clock into something very different as shown in the photo below. 

Thank you Yolanda for patiently answering all our questions.  We now have more understanding of abstract art and will be a bit better at interpreting future examples we see.

...Barbara  

     

 * Report for September

 Although we were not able to do a group booking to view the exhibit Fieldwork at the Hawkesbury Regional Art Gallery, club members were able to view this wonderful exhibition of local places we know in their own time. Some of us were able to attend the curator's talk which Yolanda wrote about in last month's newsletter and there was also a talk by Grace from the Art Gallery of NSW who is a frame conservator. Lorna and Barbara don't think they will ever look at artworks in the same way after hearing this young woman talk so passionately about this topic.

Our other art event was Monty Don's French Gardens episode The Artistic Garden and that one could be done at home via iview.  We all enjoyed a face to face meeting at Rouse Hill Regional Park and the weather cooperated. Lots of happy chat about: what we saw, which artworks were our favourites, information on frames, who had been to Monet's garden in France etc etc etc. And to top it all off, we had afternoon tea together to celebrate Bill's birthday.

Due to our interest group date for October Armchair Art being on Labour Day, we won't be meeting in October. If you need an art fix, there's plenty to be found via internet sites so have fun searching.

 

*August 3rd - Zoom

 

* Report for July

This month our little art group didn't do it in public but we did it via Zoom as five of us had a lively discussion about the ABC program John Kaldor: Doing it in Public. What an interesting life this man has led and despite his negative experiences as a young person during WWII, he arrived in Australia with his family and really made something of himself. His son says that John is more artist than business man although he has had great success in both fields. All his art projects have been contemporary and put on for free to the public and he certainly hasn't lost his joy in finding something different to present. And we agreed that some of it is very, very different!

 We spoke about his most famous project of the wrapping of Little Bay by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1969. Did any of you see it? Upon reflection, we felt more appreciation of this with hindsight and it really lifted Australia in the eyes of the international art world. And to think that one of our Probus walking group walks went to this very site! Thanks for that info Lorna.

 Engineering featured in making a lot of these artworks a reality especially in the case of Jeff Koon's Puppy. He  had the idea  then the engineer Doug Knox had to design structures to make it happen. Then the artist got all the glory so not really fair, is it? Bill and I remembered after that we had seen large Jeff Koon sculptures placed around various rooms in Versailles and that made for interesting viewing. Some French people were so affronted that they held demonstrations against this desecration!

 Our computers and art books are replacing our outings to galleries at this time but there is a wealth of wonderful information to be found if art is a topic that interests you. I leave with the thought of asking artists “What do you need to say?” and await their responses to 2020.

* Report for June 

 With the long weekend and some opening of restrictions, many in our Armchair Art group had other plans so our Zoom discussion was a small affair. I've always said that three people makes an interest group and that proved true on the day. We all enjoyed viewing images from two powerhouse Australian artists and as the images were all in black and white, they did work well via computers which is what we needed to do in these present times.

I think we were in agreement that Olive Cotton showed equal skill to Harold Cazneaux but her photographs had more appeal. Maybe it was a case of there were so few to look at and Olive's interesting life story as an artist in a time when a woman's role was very restricted influenced us. Art and social history certainly combined  but  it is a wonderful thing that both people and their art are still remembered.

 

* 03 May 2020 – Picasso & Matisse - article by Jann D.

What an interesting artistic topic Jann D suggested for May Armchair Art as we learned about Picasso and Matisse in the recent, but sadly closed now, exhibit of these two powerhouse artists at the National Gallery of Australia. We did trial a Zoom discussion on the day which went well and the participants enjoyed sharing their thoughts about these two men. Many of us had seen previous exhibits of Picasso, Matisse or both artists and have purchased catalogs from those exhibits which were dusted off and actually read. One fortunate participant actually got to see the exhibit just before everything went into lock down.

There are some wish lists of going to the Picasso museum in Paris in the future so let's hope that can eventuate.

*Picasso & Matisse  (by Jann D.)

Barbara F., our wonderful President and intrepid leader of Art and About, asked me to do a report on the exhibition Mike and I were going to in Canberra in March. By the time we had cleared the calendar in order to take off for a couple of days, you can guess what happened.

Simply titled ‘Matisse and Picasso’ there has been a truly wonderful exhibition in Canberra, which of course has now been closed down due to COVID19. It was brought together from galleries and private collections around the world to showcase the rivalry that existed between the two artists, the influence each had over the other, and their contemporaries. The following article taken from

https://www.onlycanberra.com.au/matisse-picasso

is a good start for a journey into the art world of Paris, and these two amazing artists, in the early 1900’s.

    

Matisse/Picasso
13 December 2019 - 13 April 2020
National Gallery of Australia

Explore the relationship between two of the world's greatest artists and rivals-from Picasso's untameable approach to Matisse's seductive irresistibility-responding to each other's work throughout their careers.

The rivalry between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso is one of the most important stories of modern art, and the subject of the NGA's major exhibition Matisse/Picasso. Drawn from some 40 important international collections, Matisse/Picasso shows how these two pioneers of Modern Art both shared the need to confront the challenges set by the paintings of Paul Cézanne and mined each other's work to enhance their own.

In the early twentieth century Picasso became a colossus of Modern Art. Many of the younger generation of avant-garde artists who had initially been inspired by Matisse and Fauvism turned to Picasso for inspiration. Over the years he explored the seemingly endless stylistic possibilities for art of the modern era. Revered and emulated, for much of his career Picasso appeared like an immovable object that blocked every move forward for art's pathway. Others could only follow suit. The exception was Matisse.

Matisse/Picasso begins with the young Picasso settling in Paris, where he was determined to make a name for himself. Taking radical steps towards Cubism, Picasso confronted the older Matisse who was then renowned as the radical leader of the Fauves. The exhibition ends with Picasso's artistic response to Matisse's death. Mourning the loss of this most significant figure, Picasso acknowledged the immense stylistic influence Matisse had on his own artistic career.

Despite Picasso's competitive bravado and resistance, Matisse's creativity enticed, disturbed and ruffled him. The large paintings Matisse made in the first decade of the twentieth century relating to music and dance proved irresistible for Picasso. Enticing and seductive in their brilliant palette, Matisse's beauty of line and decorative qualities, his blending of forms and their surrounds showed Picasso a way out of the self-imposed confines he had set himself with the tiny brushstrokes, limited palette and static forms of Analytic Cubism. For Picasso, when Matisse was at his most dynamic his art was radical and his talent was dangerous.

This exhibition follows the paths these two artists took over decades as they responded to the other's work. No one was more watchful of Matisse's art than Picasso and vice versa. Both explored pictorial issues in unique ways, but always remained on guard while looking over their shoulder at the other. Both Matisse and Picasso felt the absolute necessity to acknowledge and absorb the concept and skill of each other
 

The paintings included in the National Gallery exhibition can be accessed

https://nga.gov.au/matissepicasso/

click on ‘themes’, select all, or section by section and scroll down to view the artworks grouped.

Some other websites which may be of interest are:

https://visitcanberra.com.au/articles/345/matisse-and-picasso-at-the-national-gallery

https://www.pablopicasso.org/picasso-and-henri-matisse.jsp

I hope you can enjoy this virtual visit to see these artworks.