First visit to Masterpieces from Paris at the National Gallery of Australia. Post-Impressionism from the Musee d’Orsay.

Canberra’s National Gallery is worth seeing at any time. I spend more time there as I have been learning to draw and paint at lessons at the ANU School of Art as an external student and enjoying it although it is hard. Studies include visits to the Gallery for learning.

Go onto the NGA website. Particularly spend some time on-line going through the Kenneth Tyler collection.

In the Gallery you will see Ned Kelly newly located.

As a member i could not help members’ opening last friday. At 6pm with wonderful weather and meeting an old couple she in her wheelchair and after an hour of champagne, wine or beer and a few nibbles and an introduction by the Curator, I was one amongst the early art enthusiasts. And it needs a few visits.

We are surrounded by post-impressionism now, reproductions, on post-cards, fridge-magnets and in design everywhere. And the icons.

So how wonderful it is to soak in the colours of the original icons. Here are a few.

As a child at home was a print of Vincent van Gough’s Bedroom with its awkward shapes and here the colours are stronger and with its sense of loneliness.

Vincent’s very famous Starry Night painting in 1888 with the ideas drawing you up into the freshness of the stars and the yellow dance of light reflected at night. See it from various angles and up close for its subtleties and harmonies. Van Gogh’s intense, richly coloured surfaces communicate emotionally through the artist’s expressive manipulation of paint.

A Vincent face. Van Gough copies are verywhere, so many adopt now this colourful style, so the originals are a must, so radiant. (Although I have seen Vincent van Gough’s in Amsterdam).

Equally wonderful is the icon in the ad – Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian Women
110 years later this depicted colonialsm now has global warming posing threats to these women.

I liked Gaugin’s Seascape with cow.

The point is, I said to the couple in the wheelchair barrelling along, is that these artists did it first. We can all copy these now and do: but to see and understand what and why is part of the exploration and what post-impressionism contributes to our visual culture.

Wonder at Paul Cezanne’s iconic master-pieces of still life Kitchen Table and Still life with onions.

I particularly liked one of Cezanne’s late work in 1904 Rocks.

One of my favourite colourists is Pierre Bonnard, and these are most interesting. Having seen is Marthe his wife in his paintings over the years, we can see an early work of her in an erotic poseWoman dozing on a bed. She is again in The man and the woman with its strong structure. Bonnard’s compositions are worth studying.

Right at the end of the exhibition is Bonnard’s huge decorative panels for a rich baron.

A gem is his Itimacy.

Look for Portrait of Vuillard in browns/blacks. I liked his View of Le Cannet with original colouring. Bourgeois Bonnard may have been but is most stimulating.

In no particularly order I spotted:
The Talisman-on colour harmonies;
Henri Rousseau’s War– a woman in white on a dark horse;
one of Monet’s lovely bridges over his waterlilly pond and his iconic London Parliament sun through the fog;
Georges Seurat’s young women;
Paul Signac’s colour and light on boats;
and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec Woman with a black boa and I will be going back for more of the 112.
There are only a handful of Post-Impressionist works in Australia—including Georges Seurat’s study for Le Bec du Hoc, Grandcamp 1885 at the National Gallery of Australia—so the opportunity to create an exhibition from a single collection of such outstanding quality is rare indeed.

Post-Impressionism announces a break from Impressionism, the revolutionary movement which occurred in France in the second half of the 19th century. By the mid 1880s, artists were experimenting with even more radical ideas.

In the end comparatively in the famous art museums of the world the art was not really that much, not that many, should have been more, they should tour throughout Australia, stay longer than April but for Canberra and Australia and our National Art Gallery this show is very good. Thousands of Australians will visit.


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