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Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne & beyond


ISSUE 60 • SUmmEr 2009



The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency Vincent van Gogh Van Gogh’s bedroom at Arles 1889 (detail), Musée d’Orsay, Paris, © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski


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The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency

Issue 60, summer 2009–10

National Gallery of Australia GPO Box 1150 Canberra ACT 2601

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ISSN 1323-4552

exhibitions and displays

Print Post Approved pp255003/00078


published quarterly by

The opinions expressed in artonview are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.


photography Eleni Kypridis, Barry Le Lievre, Brenton McGeachie, Steve Nebauer, David Pang, John Tassie rights and permissions Nick Nicholson advertising Erica Seccombe printed in Australia by Blue Star Print, Melbourne enquiries The editor, artonview National Gallery of Australia GPO Box 1150 Canberra ACT 2601

collection focus/conservation


RRP $9.95 includes GST Free to members of the National Gallery of Australia For further information on National Gallery of Australia Membership: Membership Coordinator GPO Box 1150 Canberra ACT 2601 Tel: (02) 6240 6504

(cover) Paul Gauguin Tahitian women (Femmes de Tahiti) 1891 (detail) oil on canvas 69 x 91.5 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris gift of Countess Vitali in memory of her brother Viscount Guy de Cholet, 1923 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Celebrating two outstanding sculptors: Bert Flugelman and Inge King Deborah Hart


Kenneth Tyler Collection online Gwen Horsfield



J Miller Marshall Fossicking for gold Miriam Kelly


John Skinner Prout Break of Day Plains and The River Barwon, Victoria Emma Colton


Mawalan Marika The Milky Way Chantelle Woods

advertising Tel: (02) 6240 6557 Fax: (02) 6240 6427

Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond Christine Dixon

editors Eric Meredith designer Kristin Thomas

Culture Warriors storm Washington Bronwyn Campbell

© National Gallery of Australia 2009 Copyright for reproductions of artworks is held by the artists or their estates. Apart from uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of artonview may be reproduced, transmitted or copied without the prior permission of the National Gallery of Australia. Enquires about permissions should be made in writing to the Rights and Permissions Officer.

Director’s foreword Foundation Sponsorship and Development


Devare & Co Prince Yeshwant Rao Holkar and his sister Manorama Raje Gael Newton


Erich Heckel White horses Jacklyn Babington


Walter Burley Griffin Desk chair for Newman College Robert Bell

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Travelling exhibitions Faces in view

Director’s foreword

Félix Vallotton The ball or Corner of the park with child (Le ballon au Coin de parc avec enfant) 1899 oil on card, laid on wood panel 48 x 61 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris bequest of Carle Dreyfus 1953 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Our exhibition Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond, Post-Impressionism from the Musée d’Orsay is arguably the most important exhibition to come to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. Never before have so many famous works of art been brought together for one exhibition in this country. It is important for Australia because Australian collections are not rich in Post-Impressionist pictures and unfortunately never will be. We are delighted to be co-curating this exhibition with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which holds the most significant collection of Post-Impressionist art in the world. The works in this exhibition rarely leave the Musée d’Orsay, even singly, and never before in these numbers. Visitors to the exhibition will encounter Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles 1889, his intense yet simple rendition of coloured surfaces influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Van Gogh’s Starry night 1888 is of course iconic.

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Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian women 1891 (see the cover of this issue) is both monumental and decorative. Paul Cézanne is the master of still-life, and Kitchen table (Still-life with basket) 1888–90 fulfils his own prophecy: ‘I shall astonish Paris with an apple!’ Cézanne’s beloved Mount SaintVictoire c 1890 is a classic image for the development of the modern landscape. The exhibition examines the evolution of Post-Impressionism, announcing the break from Impressionism. The masterpieces in this exhibition mark the arrival of modern art—diverse in style, colourful, experimental and committed to the new. The Gallery has published a beautifully designed and illustrated book to mark this important occasion. It includes essays by Guy Cogeval, President of the Musée d’Orsay, Stéphane Guégan and Sylvie Patry, curators from the Musée d’Orsay, and the National Gallery of Australia’s Christine Dixon. There are entries on each work written by National Gallery of Australia curatorial staff.

It has been three months since the Hon Peter Garrett AM, Minister for the Arts in Australia, launched Culture Warriors at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington. The exhibition has received critical acclaim in the United States: The Washington Post said, ‘Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors is one of the most revolutionary exhibitions of its ilk. Though the show acts as the most civil of diplomats, it also subverts expectations …’. The showing of the exhibition in Washington is a triumph for Australia, Aboriginal people and Aboriginal art, as well as for the National Gallery of Australia. Culture Warriors is the largest contemporary Indigenous art exhibition ever to leave Australian shores and is part of the Australia Presents cultural initiative to promote Australia in America. It has been an outstanding year for acquisitions of major works of art in all collection areas, both in numbers of works purchased and in numbers and value of works given. Many gaps have been strategically filled. In Australian art, our growing collection of early colonial art was recently enhanced by the acquisition of a fascinating pre-gold rush John Skinner Prout watercolour of the Barwon River near Geelong in 1847; it is one of his few Victorian works and our earliest landscape from that state. Another even more brilliant and lively watercolour sketch by Prout, Break of Day Plains, Tasmania c 1845, was also acquired. Together, these works are fine representations of the artist’s Australian period. We continue to raise funds for the Turneresque masterpiece in watercolour by Conrad Martens, Campbell’s Wharf 1857, through the new Members Acquisition Fund, which we highlighted in the last issue of artonview. The painting, which is in immaculate condition, came directly from a Scottish branch of the Campbell family. With the assistance of Gallery members it will be our finest work by this, the most eminent New South Wales colonial artist. Thanks go to those members who have already responded to the invitation to play a direct role in acquiring an important work for the National Collection. It is still possible to contribute and we hope members will consider giving $100 towards this exceptional and rare work now on display in the colonial gallery. We also recently acquired Fossicking for gold 1893 by English-born Australian artist J Miller Marshall. The painting was donated by Jenny, David and Melissa Manton in memory of Jenny’s late husband Jack Manton, a distinguished collector of small Australian Impressionist works. For a short time only, this oil painting of a mining scene is on display with two companion pieces depicting the same subject—one owned by the Gallery is by Walter

Withers and another attributed to Percy Lindsay is on loan from the Castlemaine Art Gallery. This is a rare opportunity to see side-by-side these three interesting works painted together at the same moment in Creswick, Victoria, in 1893. One of the most remarkable nineteenth-century Australian paintings recently acquired was Tom Roberts’s oil sketch of breathtaking brevity, Shearing shed, Newstead 1893–94, an iconic depiction of a sunlit landscape and one of the artist’s finest works left in private hands. It was largely funded by a successful national appeal, the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund, and the Gallery is very grateful to those who generously donated to the fund. From the early twentieth century, the Gallery acquired a desk chair that Walter Burley Griffin designed as part of his 1915 concept for the University of Melbourne’s Newman College, his second largest project in Australia after his designs for the national capital in 1913. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection grew substantially during the year, in the lead-up to the opening of the new Indigenous galleries later in 2010. Among the very recent works acquired is a large early bark painting by Mawalan Marika. Marika was an important leader in Yirrkala in the Northern Territory and a key figure in the development of the distinctive style of bark painting from Arnhem Land. From India, the Gallery acquired an interesting group of hand-coloured photographs from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Among them is a stunning 1918 photographic portrait of the young Prince Yeshwant and his younger sister Manorama Raje of Indore. The photograph is exquisitely hand-coloured and retains its original gilded frame. The work not only enriches our Asian photography collection but also has a special connection to our two Brancusi Bird in space sculptures, which Yeshwant commissioned at the beginning of the 1930s for his palace outside Indore. These works, among the Gallery’s greatest treasures, were acquired in 1973. The Gallery acquired White horses (Weisse Pferde) 1912 by Erick Heckel for our international prints collection. This landscape is markedly different to the figurative work that underpinned the early German Expressionist movement of 1905–20. It joins our important collection of German Expressionist prints and sets itself apart from Heckel’s more tormented psychological portraits in the collection, the most famous of which is, of course, his postwar woodcut print Portrait of a man (Männerbildnis) 1919. In October, the Gallery officially launched the website for the Kenneth Tyler Collection. The collection includes artonview

summer 2009–10


In late November, we opened a new purpose-built gallery for our popular Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly series 1946. This new gallery, off the main foyer in the space formerly occupied by the Gallery Shop, has been specially designed to enhance visitor experience of these famous and much-loved Australian works. Their previous home in the main Australian galleries on the first floor is now a dedicated space for our remarkable collection of Australian Surrealism, including, of course, the recently given Agapitos/Wilson collection. Other newly opened display areas near the Ned Kelly gallery include showcases for Asian and international costumes and fashion, a large showcase for our stunning jewellery collection, and a dedicated space for changing displays of photography— the first display is of John Gollings’s colourful New Guinea

Henri-Edmond Cross Hair (La chevelure) c 1892 oil on canvas 61 x 46 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased 1969 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

over 7000 works by 77 artists—more than 3000 of which have been digitised for the website. The dynamic features of the Kenneth Tyler Collection website allow our online visitors to take a journey through the decades-long creative collaboration behind some of the most famous images of American art from the second half of the twentieth century. The collection was compiled over decades by Ken and Marabeth Tyler and gifted exclusively to the National Gallery of Australia in 2002. The online content includes hundreds of behind-the-scenes photographs of artists at work as well as rare film footage and audio from these years. This website demonstrates the role of the internet in preserving and publishing archival material and in providing electronic access to an important part of the national collection.

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suite 1973–74. Until now, the Gallery has never had a permanent exclusive place for its jewellery, costume and photography collections. We have also just opened our new Polynesian gallery in the space previously occupied by the Childrens Gallery. Immediately above it upstairs, the former Pacific arts gallery is now devoted to Melanesian art. The Childrens Gallery reopens in mid February 2010, near the Gallery’s Small Theatre. A new art loading dock and a goods loading dock, a new staff entrance and vitally needed spaces for registration, exhibition preparation, packing, quarantine and mount-cutting have been completed as part of Stage 1 early this year. These crucial back-of-house spaces are of the international standard now expected of a major art museum. Gallery 3, which until recently housed The Aboriginal memorial poles, has been restored and refurbished and has had new lighting installed for international art. All these changes complete the planned extensive refurbishment of the current Gallery building and its displays, which has been going on for several years. The current Gallery display spaces have been redesignated, all extensively refurbished and redisplayed. We can now look forward to the opening of your new Gallery building later in 2010.

Ron Radford AM

credit lines

Grants Masterpieces from Paris has been indemnified by the Commonwealth through the Australian Government’s Art Indemnity Australia program, administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The Australia Council for the Arts through its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Board’s Showcasing the Best International Strategy The Gordon Darling Foundation Australian Government: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FHCSIA) Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian International Cultural Council Department of Health and Ageing‘s Dementia Community Grants Program Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts through Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia, and through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Government, and state and territory governments The Queensland Government (Australia) through the Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA) Arts Partnership Program

R.M.Williams, The Bush Outfitter WIN Television Wesfarmers Limited Yalumba Wines ZOO

Sponsorship ABC Radio Accor Hotels ACT Government (through Australian Capital Tourism) ActewAGL apARTments Brassey Hotel of Canberra BHP Billiton Canberra Times Casella Wines Champagne Pol Roger Diamant Hotel Eckersley’s Art & Craft Forrest Hotel and Apartments JCDecaux Mantra on Northbourne National Australia Bank NewActon Nine Network Australia Qantas

Masterpieces for the Nation Fund Joan Adler Sarah Brasch Cheryl Bridge Ann and Dr Miles Burgess Dr Stuart Cairns Deborah and Jim Carroll Paula Davidson Anne H De Salis Anthony Eastaway Neilma Gantner Wendy Gray Aileen Hall Annette Hearne Elizabeth Hilton Rev Bill Huff-Johnston and Rosemary Huff-Johnston Elspeth Humphries Dr J Vaughan Johnson CSC, AAM, and Madeleine Johnson Brian Jones Dr Dominic H Katter

Donations Jason L Brown John Calvert-Jones AM and Janet Calvert-Jones AO The Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer Warwick Hemsley Merrill Lynch Perin Family Foundation Jason Prowd Peter G Webster The Yulgilbar Foundation Founding Donor 2010 Antoinette L Albert Luca Belgiorno-Nettis AM Tony Berg AM and Carol Berg Catherine Harris AO and David Harris Neil Hobbs and Karina Harris Terry Peabody and Mary Peabody Julien Playoust and Michelle Playoust Prescott Family Foundation Penelope Seidler AM and the late Harry Seidler AC, OBE Village Roadshow Limited Ray Wilson OAM and the late James Agapitos OAM


summer 2009–10


Carolyn Kay and Simon Swaney Thomas Kennedy Dr Peter Kenny Pamela V Kenny James Semple Kerr Sabra Lane Simon McGill Anne Moten and John Moten Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC, DBE Donald W Nairn Suzannah Plowman Michael Ian Proud Dr Lyn Riddett Alan Rose AO and Helen Rose Ann Somers Helene Stead Alan Taylor Dr Caroline Turner AM and Glen Barclay Joy D Warren OAM Gabrielle Watt The Hon E Gough Whitlam AC, QC, and Margaret Whitlam AO Dr IS Wilkey and H Wilkey Gifts Geoff Brash Ian Brown Peter Cheah Brenda L Croft The Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer James Erksine and Jacqui Erksine Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund Dr Anna Gray Richard Horvath Lesley Kehoe Inge King John Loane Matisse Mitelman Mike Parr Jocelyn Plate and Cassi Plate Anne Sanders Lyn Williams AM and the late Fred Williams OBE The National Gallery or Australia extends thanks to the many anonymous donors who provided support during this period.

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Foundation McCubbin opening McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17 exemplifies how philanthropy can greatly assist the Gallery to present exhibitions of the highest quality. Council member and Foundation director the Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer generously donated towards the cost of the exhibition, as did R.M.Williams, The Bush Outfitter. Several works of art included in McCubbin were acquired through the benefaction of Foundation members. Ashley Dawson-Damer, John Wylie AM and Myriam Wylie donated towards a key work painted in McCubbin’s final years, Violet and gold 1911. An earlier work, At the falling of the year 1886, which is also included in the exhibition, was acquired through the generous donation of Terry Campbell AO and Christine Campbell. Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2009 On 29 September 2009, Gallery Director Ron Radford AM hosted an event to celebrate the acquisition of Tom Roberts’s Shearing shed, Newstead 1893–94. All donors to the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2009 were invited to view the work that they helped acquire for the Australian art collection. The Director spoke about the importance of the artist’s work for the national art collection and how he was delighted and grateful that so many donors had contributed. Founding Donors 2010 The Founding Donors 2010 program, which is an opportunity to become involved in the history of the Gallery, is progressing very well. With the completion of the Stage 1 South Entrance and Indigenous Galleries building project less than a year away, the funds raised through the Founding Donors 2010 program will be used to acquire works of art for the new galleries. Stage 1 is the most extensive building program since the Gallery opened in 1982, when the initial Founding Donors program provided most valuable support to the Gallery. The Founding Donors 2010 program aims to raise $1 million through 100 donors contributing $10 000 over two years. All donors will be recognised in perpetuity through the inclusion of their name on the donor board being placed in the Gallery foyer. If you are interested in becoming a Founding Donor 2010, please contact Annalisa Millar, Executive Director of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, on (02) 6240 6691. Your support would be most welcome.

Membership Acquisition Fund The Membership Acquisition Fund, under which members have been invited to support the Gallery, has proved very popular with many donations received towards the acquisition of Conrad Martens’s spectacular watercolour Campbell’s Wharf 1857. For more information about this program, or to make your tax-deductible donation today, please contact the Membership Office on 1800 020 068.

Christine Simpson and Kerry Stokes AC with McCubbin’s Oliver’s Hill, Frankston (Summer idyll) 1910 from the Kerry Stokes collecton, on display in McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17 at the National Gallery of Australia.

Gala dinner and weekend 2010 The next annual fundraising weekend will be held on 20 and 21 March 2010 and will include behind-the-scenes tours, a private viewing of Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond, and an exquisite gala dinner at the Gallery on the Saturday evening. Funds raised from the weekend will assist the Gallery to acquire a work of art for the national art collection. For further information, please contact Annalisa Millar on (02) 6240 6691 or Foundation AGM and board meeting The Annual General Meeting of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation was held on 28 October 2009 and was attended by Foundation directors and a number of members of the Foundation. Chairman of the Foundation, Charles Curran AC, provided an outline of the achievements for the Foundation for this financial year and the Gallery’s Director Ron Radford AM spoke about


summer 2009–10


Ron Radford AM, Director, Rupert Myer AM, Chairman, Dr Anna Gray, Head of Australian Art, Ken Cowley AO, Chairman of R.M.Williams, The Bush Outfitter, The Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer, Exhibition Benefactor, and Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC, GovernorGeneral of Australia, at the McCubbin opening on 13 August 2009

recent developments, including an update on the building program. The Director also spoke about the forthcoming major international exhibition Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, CĂŠzanne and beyond. Thanks to everyone who has supported the National Gallery of Australia through the Foundation. The board expressed their gratitude to Jennifer Prescott, who has resigned after nine years as a board member. The Foundation also welcomed two new board members: Zeke Solomon and Julian Beaumont. National Gallery of Australia Bequest Circle The National Gallery of Australia Bequest Circle was launched in November 2008 as a way of recognising the important role that bequest benefactors play in the life of the Gallery. Ray Wilson OAM spoke at the launch of the program. He has been a generous benefactor and recently left a bequest as a way of reinforcing his commitment to the National Gallery of Australia. The Bequest Circle was introduced to increase awareness of the Gallery as a potential bequest choice. The program provides existing and potential bequest

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donors the opportunity to enjoy a closer relationship with the Gallery. It also enables the Gallery to formally acknowledge and honour bequest donors during their lifetime. Members of the Bequest Circle are invited to an exclusive annual event as well as other Gallery events and programs. They are formally acknowledged in the National Gallery of Australia Foundation Annual Report and in artonview. A bequest to the National Gallery of Australia is a significant and lasting contribution to the future of the national collection. If you have ever felt captivated, excited, challenged or inspired by a work of art, please consider making a bequest to the National Gallery of Australia. Further information on this exciting new program is available on the Gallery’s website development/bequests.cfm, where you can also download the Bequest Circle brochure. If you would like to join the National Gallery of Australia Bequest Circle or would like more information, please contact Liz Wilson, Development Officer, on (02) 6240 6781.

Sponsorship and Development Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne & beyond Post-Impressionism from the Musée d’Orsay Australian Capital Tourism through the ACT Government (Presenting Partner) We extend our great appreciation to the ACT Government through ACT Tourism for partnering with the Gallery to present to the people of Australia the iconic, rare and extremely important Post-Impressionist works from the Musée d’Orsay. The Gallery is thrilled that the ACT Government chose to support Masterpieces from Paris. Through this partnership, the ACT Government has proven that they value the tremendous benefits that major exhibitions bring to the local economy. Our great appreciation is extended to the staff at Australian Capital Tourism for their integrated and collaborative approach to this important partnership. Australian Government: Art Indemnity Australia (Presenting Partner) The assistance of Art Indemnity Australia—the Australian Government’s art indemnity scheme through which loans to Masterpieces from Paris have been indemnified—has been invaluable. Without this support, this exhibition could not have taken place. Since 1979, the Commonwealth has indemnified approximately $15.4 billion worth of cultural objects in 103 exhibitions (including this one), with a combined audience total of more than 22 million visitors. The scheme was established to provide greater access for the people of Australia to significant cultural exhibitions. We are grateful to Art Indemnity Australia for supporting the Gallery in bringing this unique exhibition to Australia. Art Indemnity Australia is an Australian Government program managed by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. National Australia Bank (Principal Partner) We are delighted to announce a long-term strategic partnership between the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Gallery, where the NAB has become the Gallery’s Art Education and Access Partner. As part of this partnership, the NAB is also a Principal Partner of Masterpieces from Paris. The visionary and generous support of NAB has reinforced their reputation as a leader in corporate philanthropy with a profound and tangible commitment to advancement and enrichment of the Australian community. NAB is also the naming rights sponsor of the Gallery’s Sculpture Gallery, which opened in 2007. We extend our thanks to the team at NAB for their continued support.

Nine Network Australia (Principal Partner) We are very grateful to Channel Nine for their generous support of Masterpieces from Paris. As the major media partner, Nine is partnering with the Gallery to present this remarkable exhibition to Australians through a national advertising and media campaign. Thank you to the team at Nine. JCDecaux (Principal Partner) We welcome JCDecaux as Principal Partner of Masterpieces from Paris and thank them for choosing to support this important exhibition of European masters. Through their significant contribution as media partners, JCDecaux have created a prominent street promotion campaign, ensuring high visibility of this important exhibition in all major metropolitan areas of Australia. We extend our gratitude to the team at JCDecaux.

Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr, Dennis Richardson AO, Ambassador to the United States, and Mavis Ngallametta at the official opening of the Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC, USA. Photograph © Greg Chesman

Qantas (Major Sponsor) Our thanks go to Qantas for their generous and continued support of the Gallery. We are grateful to Qantas Freight for assisting with the transport of these valuable works from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. We extend this appreciation to Qantas Holidays, for partnering with the Gallery to create packages and promotions that drive tourism and visitation to Canberra.


summer 2009–10


The Yulgilbar Foundation (Major Sponsor)

McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17

The Gallery thanks the Trustees of The Yulgilbar Foundation.

Our appreciation is extended to R.M.Williams, The Bush

The Foundation’s generosity and vision has ensured that the

Outfitter who are generously partnering with the Gallery

Family Activity Room and childrens program for Masterpieces

for McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17. This exhibition

from Paris will be developed and presented for the enjoyment

closed at the Gallery on 1 November 2009, to travel

of children and families. The support from The Yulgilbar

to Perth, where it will displayed at the Art Gallery of

Foundation and its Trustees is highly valued and deeply

Western Australia from 12 December 2009 to 28 March

appreciated by the Gallery.

2010, before travelling to the final venue, the Bendigo

The Canberra Times (Major Sponsor) We are pleased to announce The Canberra Times as a major sponsor of Masterpieces from Paris and thank them for their further commitment to promote and support other exhibitions and activities throughout 2009–10. We are very grateful to the team at The Canberra Times for their energy and collaborative work with the Gallery. National Gallery of Australia Council Exhibitions Fund We are grateful to the Gallery’s Council for their active role in the life of the Gallery and for their support of exhibitions, including Masterpieces from Paris, through the National Gallery of Australia Council Exhibitions Fund.

Art Gallery, where it will be on display from 24 April to 25 July 2010. We thank the R.M.Williams team for their energy and commitment to the project and the much-valued partnership between our organisations. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to long-term supporter of the Gallery, the Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer for being the Exhibition Benefactor. Australian Government Visions of Australia We acknowledge and thank the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, through Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian

ABC Radio

cultural material across Australia, and through the Visual

We are grateful to ABC Radio as Media Partner of

Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian

Masterpieces from Paris, and thank them for their ongoing

Government and state and territory governments.

support of the Gallery’s major exhibitions through radio coverage and promotions around Australia. WIN Television We extend our gratitude to WIN Television for supporting Masterpieces from Paris. In addition, we would like to

Visions of Australia has funded the National Gallery of Australia’s Travelling Exhibition Program’s 2010 New Releases: In the Japanese manner: Australian prints 1900–1940, Robert Dowling: Tasmanian son of Empire and Australian street stencils.

thank WIN Television for their commitment towards the

Council Circle

Gallery’s exhibition and programs throughout 2009–10.

We welcome the following companies into the Council

Novotel (Accor Hotels) We welcome Accor Hotel Group as partner of the Gallery and Masterpieces from Paris, and thank them for being the Accommodation Partner for this iconic exhibition.

Circle: Channel NINE, JCDecaux, Qantas, The Yulgilbar Foundation, Accor Hotel Group (Novotel Canberra) and Champagne Pol Roger. We would also like to thank the following Council Circle Members for their continued support: National Australia Bank, Wesfarmers,

Champagne Pol Roger

The Canberra Times, WIN Television, The Mantra on

We are delighted to announce that Champagne Pol Roger

Northbourne and The Brassey Hotel of Canberra.

will once again be supporting a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Pol Roger will be the official

Corporate Members Program

supplier of French Champagne for all VIP events held in

We would like to welcome Yalumba Wines and Casella

conjunction with the exhibition. Pol Roger’s philosophy

Wines into the Corporate Members Program for 2009–10.

of ‘style and elegance’ along with their company values of ‘excellence and independence’ align perfectly with this

Thank you to Eckersley’s Art & Craft, as a sponsor of the Gallery’s annual family day event The Big Draw, which was

amazing blockbuster exhibition.

held at the Gallery on Sunday 20 September.

Yalumba Wines

National Australia Bank Art Education

We welcome the iconic family-owned Yalumba Wines back

and Access Partnership

to the Gallery, and thank them for supporting another

We thank and acknowledge the vision and leadership

blockbuster exhibition. Yalumba, along with Champagne

shown by the NAB in entering this partnership with the

Pol Roger, have sponsored Turner to Monet, Degas and

National Gallery of Australia, which is one of the most

now Masterpieces from Paris.

significant partnerships of its kind today.

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As an organisation, the NAB is renowned for its commitment to supporting Australian communities and helping people reach their creative potential. Its focus aligns itself closely with the Gallery’s own mandate, which is to inspire and enhance all Australians’ lives through the promotion of, and provision of access to, the national collection and the visual arts. This partnership will see NAB’s programs further developed at the Gallery, and its outreach activities increased around the country. The partnership will improve access to high-quality and inspiring teacher and student resources for schools and communities around Australia and will provide programs that will reach remote and disadvantaged schools and students. It will also support the activities of over 3000 school groups (80 000 school children per annum) that visit the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra each year. The NAB’s partnership with the Gallery will also provide the opportunity to build and strengthen current access and community programs such as Art and Alzheimers, Carers’ Art Appreciation and Viewings, Auslan sign-interpreted tours, descriptive and disability tours and art tours for refugees for whom a visit to a gallery or museum is often a transformative experience. We are deeply grateful to the NAB for its generous support, and look forward to the far-reaching outcomes that the partnership will deliver. Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship We thank Cox Inall Ridgeway for the energy and professionalism they are investing in the Consultation Program for the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship. Consultation workshops have been conducted around the country in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Broome, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. They have drawn together many people working across different sectors—visual arts, education and government, Indigenous and non-Indigenous—and encouraged vigorous and insightful discussion, analysis and input. A full report from the consultation process will be completed and launched in the first half of 2010. Wesfarmers Arts continues to support and contribute to the project with tremendous generosity and energy. We also thank them particularly for providing a location and forum for the Perth consultation workshop. American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia The opening week celebrations of the Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors incorporated a lunch on Thursday 10 September 2009, held in honour of the American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc at the Australian Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC. The work of its directors, Advisory Council and Board, both past and present, was acknowledged and

highlighted by Rupert Myer AM, Chairman of the National Gallery of Australia, Mr Dennis Richardson AO, Ambassador to the United States, and the Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. The American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc welcomed its new Chairman, Philip Colbran, and Vice President, Ian Phillips, to its Board of Directors, which includes Dr Lee MacCormick Edwards, Dr Helen Ibbotson Jessup, Kate Flynn, Judith Ogden Thomson and Susan Talbot at its 2009 Annual General Meeting. We acknowledge and thank the outgoing Chairman, Philip Jessup Jr, and Director, Diane Ackerman, for their leadership and longstanding contribution to the work of the American Friends during their time on its Board of Directors. We look forward to their continuing association as members of the American Friends Advisory Board.

Exhibition Benefactor the Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer, Ken Cowley AO, Chairman of R.M.Williams, The Bush Outfitter, and Maureen Cowley at the opening of McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17 on 13 August 2009.

We would like to thank all our partners and corporate members. If you would like more information about Sponsorship at the National Gallery of Australia, please contact Frances Corkhill on + 61 2 6240 6740 or For information about Development at the National Gallery of Australia, please contact Belinda Cotton on + 61 2 6240 6556 or


summer 2009–10


travelling exhibition

Culture Warriors storm Washington

(from left to right) Dr Brenda L Croft, exhibition curator, Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr, Mavis Ngallametta, the Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Ricky Maynard, Gordon Hookey, Daniel Boyd, Christopher Pease, Judy Watson and Jean Baptiste Apuatimi at the official opening of Culture Warriors in Washington, DC, 10 September 2009. Photograph: Jeff Watts, courtesy American University

After a highly successful Australian tour, during which it was seen by over a quarter of a million people, Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors opened at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC. Travelling overseas, the exhibition forms part of the Embassy of Australia in Washington’s Australia Presents program, which was developed to celebrate the talent and creative excellence of Australian performing and visual artists. Culture Warriors first opened at the National Gallery of Australia in October 2007 to commemorate the Gallery’s 25th anniversary. Those who viewed the exhibition will recall a vivid and diverse survey of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice, with a variety of media ranging from weaving, bark painting and sculpture to painting, video and installation by 30 Indigenous

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Australian artists hailing from every state and territory, living and working in remote, rural and urban areas. Culture Warriors pays specific tribute to a core group of senior artists: Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, Phillip Gudthaykudthay, John Mawurndjul, Wamud Namok AO and Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr. The work of these artists is firmly grounded in custom and culture and—in spite of the many innovations of material, form and style that they have generated—is regarded as ‘traditional’ by many viewers. Apuatimi and Pambegan Jr travelled from their ancestral homelands to be among the eight exhibition artists who were present in Washington to celebrate the opening of Culture Warriors. At the other end of the spectrum of artists that went to Washington, Christian Bumbarra Thompson, a young member of the Bidjara people of Queensland and now resident in Amsterdam,

is a quintessentially international contemporary artist. Speaking to the ABC, Thompson described the experience of the exhibition as ‘a great opportunity for the world to see such a dynamic collection of work and gain an insight into the complex nature of Aboriginal identity and how it is in this contemporary age’. The exhibition was officially opened on the evening of Thursday 10 September by the Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

significant degree of co-operation that this undertaking involved. Without generous corporate sponsorship and Government support, the exhibition could not have travelled to the United States of America. The significant partnerships that were forged between the Embassy of Australia in Washington, the Australian International Cultural Council, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the American University and the National Gallery of Australia will create an enduring legacy of international

The launch was attended by nearly 400 people, including members of the United States Congress, diplomats and members of the American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia (AFNGA). Minister Garrett commended the important cultural exchange between Australia and the United States of America which Culture Warriors represents, as well as the

cooperation and cultural exchange. The contributions of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Queensalnd Arts Marketing and Export Agency were invaluable in allowing the participation of exhibition artists in the launch events. Artists attending the events included Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, Daniel Boyd, Gordon Hookey, Ricky Maynard, Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr, Christopher


Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC.

Image courtesy Geoff Chesman, ImagelinkPhoto

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(clockwise from top left) Christopher Pease with his New Water Dreaming, Wrong side of the Hay and Target at the media launch, 8 September 2009. Photograph: Jeff Watts, courtesy American University

Dennis Richardson AO, Australian Ambassador to the United States of America, at the media launch, 8 September 2009. Photograph: Jeff Watts, courtesy American University

Cameron McCarthy performing at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 10 Septemebr 2009. Image courtesy Geoff Chesman, ImagelinkPhoto

The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, at the official opening, 10 September 2009. Image courtesy Geoff Chesman, ImagelinkPhoto

Pease, Christian Bumbarra Thompson and Judy Watson. Guests at the opening were moved by Jean Baptiste Apuatimi’s performance of her ceremonial Buffalo Dance in front of her paintings, which she repeated for members of the public on the afternoon of Saturday 12 September, along with talks by artist Ricky Maynard and exhibition curator Brenda L Croft and a performance by Christian Bumbarra Thompson. AFNGA members were also specially honoured by a preview tour of the exhibition and a private luncheon at the residence of the Australian Ambassador Dennis J Richardson AO. After a quarter of a century of warm support from AFNGA, giving a special preview of a National Gallery of Australia exhibition on their home soil was a welcome opportunity. Rupert Myer AM, Chairman of the National Gallery of Australia, reminded audiences that ‘the promotion of our best art internationally and the development of new audiences for our own visual culture are significant elements of [the] National Gallery’s charter’. In Washington, Culture Warriors will enable an influential and discerning audience to experience the richness and diversity of contemporary Australian Indigenous art in a unique and powerful way. It will also open up fresh audiences for the artists’ work and create new and lasting partnerships for the National Gallery of Australia. A fascinating aspect of the tour of Culture Warriors to the United States of America has been the opportunity to expand on what Americans understand about Australian Indigenous art. The process of unpacking the many crates that the show travelled in was one of constant wonder for the American University Museum staff, each crate containing a surprise, a challenge or a new favourite. The Director of the American University Museum, Jack Rasmussen, was observed standing in front of Gordon Hookey’s Grog gott’im 2005, a large-scale and direct modern allegory of the affect of alcohol dependence on Indigenous communities. Rasmussen commented to a museum benefactor that the exhibition ‘wasn’t quite what we were expecting’. American museum-goers and collectors are very aware of the Central and Western Desert schools of painting but it was a delight to watch the revelation of the vast diversity and extraordinary qualities of contemporary Indigenous Australian art dawn on the faces of visitors to the museum. The response to the exhibition to date has been overwhelmingly positive. One of the great strengths of Culture Warriors resides in its variety: some works lull viewers with their allusions to tradition, others issue an overt challenge to audience expectations. All of them in some way refute conventional understanding of Indigenous Australian art yet contribute to a deeper appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and views.

Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors is proudly supported by principal sponsor BHP Billiton, airline sponsor Qantas, and Australian Government sponsors the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy/Visions of Australia/Contemporary Touring Initiative, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Queensland Government through the Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency, the Northern Territory Government, the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Culture and the Arts, and Arts Victoria.

Jean Baptiste Apuatimi’s performance at the opening of Culture Warriors in Washington, DC, 10 September 2009. Image courtesy Geoff Chesman, ImagelinkPhoto

Bronwyn Campbell Assistant Manager, Travelling Exhibitions


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Masterpieces from Paris Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond Post-Impressionism from the Musée d’Orsay 4 December 2009 – 5 April 2010 | Exhibition Galleries Masterpieces from Paris brilliantly reveals how Post-Impressionism burst onto the cultural scene, in France and farther afield, at the end of the nineteenth century. Among the 112 paintings brought to Canberra this summer and autumn are some of the most heralded works of modern art, reproduced in art books, posters and postcards, and always sought after for loan by other museums. Normally, they are visited by millions of tourists in Paris every year in the cathedral of nineteenth-century art, the Musée d’Orsay. Visitors will see the ways new generations of artists competed with Impressionist and Salon painters, how the experimenters influenced each other, and how explosive was the arrival of modern art throughout Europe.

Paul Gauguin Portrait of the artist with ‘The yellow Christ’ 1890–91 oil on canvas 38 x 46 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased with the assistance of Philippe Meyer and patronage organised by the Nikkei newspaper, 1994 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / René-Gabriel Ojéda

Vincent van Gogh Eugène Boch or The poet 1888 oil on canvas 60 x 45 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris bequest of Eugène Boch, through the Société des Amis du Louvre, 1941 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

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In Masterpieces from Paris, the most famous and influential painters are represented by many works: Vincent van Gogh by seven, Paul Gauguin by nine, Paul Cézanne by eight, and Georges Seurat by eleven. Paintings by van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat have been seen in Australia only rarely, and never in this depth nor represented by such high-quality examples of their art. There are also many paintings by Emile Bernard (five), Pierre Bonnard (nine), Maurice Denis (ten), Claude Monet (five) and Edouard Vuillard (eight), among others. Works by these artists announced a break with Impressionism, the revolutionary movement that took place in France in the second half of the nineteenth century. By the 1880s, however, artists were experimenting with even more radical ideas, and their art is now classified under the general heading of Post-Impressionism. Here we can see such movements as Pointillism, Neo-Impressionism, Synthetism, Symbolism, the School of Pont-Aven and the Nabis. The year 1886 marked the end of organised Impressionism and the beginning of Post-Impressionism. The eighth and final Impressionist exhibition held that year was the end of an era and the triumphant announcement of a new one. Monet’s responses to what he saw as the

crisis of Impressionism include venturing beyond observed reality to what the contemporary critic Octave Mirbeau identified as Monet’s genius; this was the artist’s ability to extract from a particular place ‘at a glance, the essence of form and colour and, I would also say, of intellectual life, of thought … from this supreme moment of concentrated harmony, where dream becomes reality’. Such genius is made manifest in London, Parliament: sun through the fog 1904. A grand canvas by Seurat, A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte 1884–86 was shown in the 1886 Impressionist exhibition, and with it the Neo-Impressionist artist transformed the nature of Impressionism. Two studies for the painting can be seen in Masterpieces from Paris. Instead of the Impressionists’ concentration on momentary effects of light, Seurat and his followers—Paul Signac, Théo van Rysselberghe, Henri-Edmond Cross and others— devised a science of colour. Their theories depended on complementary hues—red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet—placed side by side in small marks. They also borrowed from other traditions, such as stained glass, cloisonné and Japanese woodblock prints, for example. Neo-Impressionist painters, also known as Divisionists and Pointillists, lit up their canvases with strokes or dots


Georges Seurat Model standing, facing the front or Study for ‘The models’ 1886 oil on wood panel 26 x 15.7 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris gift of Philippe Meyer, 2000 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Michèle Bellot

Model from the front 1887 oil on wood panel 25 x 16 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased ex Félix Fénéon collection, 1947 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

(opposite) Claude Monet London, Parliament: sun through the fog 1904 oil on canvas 81 x 92 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris bequest of Count Isaac de Camondo, 1911 © Musée d’Orsay, Dist RMN / Patrice Schmidt

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of pure colour laid side by side on light grounds. These dots or dashes combine in a viewer’s eye, blending and creating new effects as we perceive them. In Seurat’s Model from the front 1887, the nude’s shimmering pearlescent flesh is composed of white, pale orange, brown and blue paintstrokes. Similarly, in Cross’s all-but-anonymous study of his wife combing her hair, her wavy brown tresses are made of circular dots of orange and green and purple, among other colours. The rebel Cézanne, born a year before Monet, and participant in two Impressionist exhibitions, became the overarching Post-Impressionist artist, influencing almost all modern artists of the following generations. Cézanne was awkward, touchy and misanthropic in his character, but he was also bold and experimental, even audacious, in his work. He was a master of still life, and Kitchen table 1888–90 fulfils his own prophecy: ‘I shall astonish Paris with an apple!’ Gauguin looked at Cézanne for his vibrant Still-life with fan c 1889, using similar brushstrokes to render the fruit and displaying some of the fictional space in which the objects float. Gauguin owned several paintings by Cézanne, thus increasing the circulation of knowledge about the reclusive artist. Van Gogh’s great adventure with the drama of colour can be seen in his portrait Eugène Boch 1888. The work depicts his fellow artist and dreamer as ‘The poet’, which the painting was also titled. Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in September 1888 that he wanted to paint men and women with ‘something of the eternal which the halo used to symbolise’. For the portrait of Boch, he chooses a yellowgold for the figure and a deep, rich blue as the ground, and replaces the conventional halo with stars, invoking a limitless celestial night sky. In his Portrait of the artist with ‘The yellow Christ’ 1890–91, Gauguin presents one of the most interesting and striking images of the artist as martyr. He portrays himself three times: the central image as a brilliant man misunderstood by society, flanked by his painting of the suffering Christ and his distorted ceramic self-portrait, a radical self-realisation. The painting stands as a testament to the future, when the world would understand Gauguin’s genius and regret the lack of appreciation and success in his lifetime. It was made in Pont-Aven in Brittany, where Bernard met Gauguin for the second time in 1888. Artists sought renewal in the remote province, perceiving it to be a magical Celtic realm of mysticism and pre-urban innocence.

Bois d’Amour on the bank of the Aven River. He inquired: ‘How do you see these trees? They are yellow. Well, then, apply some yellow. That bluish shadow, paint it with pure ultramarine blue. These red leaves? Try vermilion …’ The resulting small painting, The Aven at the Bois d’Amour 1888, was taken back to Paris to the Académie Julian. It was a revelation to the young painters there, especially Bonnard, Denis, Paul Ranson and Vuillard, who were shortly to form the artists’ group called the Nabis, perhaps because of this painting. The work was nicknamed ‘The talisman’:

Breton subjects, often traditionally dressed peasants in a

that is, a secret and magical object. Gauguin’s instructions to

rural Arcadia, yet allowed original pictorial solutions such

Sérusier, to intensify colour and simplify forms, led to short,

as those Bernard devised in The harvest 1888. Striking

square vertical brushstrokes, lengthened and continued as

diagonal fields of colour, arbitrary divisions of the canvas

flat patches of colour. The panel is now famous, regarded

and denial of conventional perspective are some of the

as the earliest forerunner of abstraction, although it was

tactics the painter employed.

not exhibited during the artist’s lifetime.

It was also in Pont-Aven, in October 1888, that Gauguin gave the student Paul Sérusier a painting lesson in the

As well as the rich colour and exotic themes of van Gogh, Gauguin and the School of Pont-Aven, strongly artonview

Emile Bernard The harvest (Breton landscape) 1888 oil on wood panel 56.5 x 45 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased 1965 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi, © Emile Bernard. ADAGP/ Represented by Viscopy, 2009

(opposite) Paul Cézanne Kitchen table (Still-life with basket) 1888–90 oil on canvas 65 x 80 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris bequest of Auguste Pellerin, 1929 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Paul Gauguin Still-life with fan c 1889 oil on canvas 50 x 61 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris transferred in application of the Peace Treaty with Japan, 1959 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

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Symbolist elements can be traced through paintings by Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. More intimate are the jewel-like domestic interiors and figures by the Nabis painters, especially Bonnard, Denis, Sérusier and Vuillard. Portraits of friends and family members, nude studies and schemes to decorate rooms were common subjects. The Nabis, who named themselves after the Hebrew and Arabic words for ‘prophet’, were inhabitants of the city and rarely ventured into rural France. Félix Vallotton paints a bird’s eye view of a little boy playing in the park, The ball 1899, which communicates the quintessential experience of a lone child in an urban park, watched over from afar by two women. Part of the Nabis project was an attempt to expand their art from easel painting to include large wall paintings, screens, posters and the decorative arts. The exhibition contains large decorative panels by Nabis artists, especially examples by Vuillard, Bonnard and Denis. The Muses 1893 shows Denis’s successful intertwining of outlined figures— the nine (or is it ten?) female figures symbolising the arts. Forms are outlined with sinuous lines, pinks and browns contrast with greens and blacks, while beautiful patterns decorate the whole. The floor of the forest would make a wonderful carpet!

A surprising and disruptive final note is sounded by Henri Rousseau’s grand painting War c 1894. With its emotive and critical subject and flat application of paint to two-dimensional shapes, War is different in its pictorial language from other Post-Impressionist works. But rank outsiders always exist in any field of endeavour, and the artist brilliantly communicates his message of death and despair. Essentially modern elements—experiment, flatness, shock—are part of Rousseau’s vocabulary. As the painter stated to Pablo Picasso in 1908: ‘we are the two greatest painters of the era, you in the Egyptian genre, I in the modern genre’. The various Post-Impressionist aesthetic adventures, it becomes clear, were the basis for the development of Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and even Abstraction into the twentieth century. When we look at these paintings by van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin, Denis, Cézanne and others— their bold colours, new theories, novel designs and complex geometries—we experience the vibrant, changing world of the Post-Impressionists.

Henri Rousseau War c 1894 oil on canvas 114 x 195 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased 1946 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / All rights reserved

(opposite) Maurice Denis The Muses 1893 oil on canvas 171.5 x 137.5 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris purchased 1932 © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski, © Maurice Denis. ADAGP/ Represented by Viscopy, 2009

Christine Dixon Senior Curator, International Painting and Sculpture The book Masterpieces from Paris, published in conjunction with the exhibition, is available at the NGA Shop for $39.95 and at selected bookstores nationally for RRP $49.95.


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Celebrating two outstanding sculptors Bert Flugelman and Inge King

Inge King discussing her practice and her work Wandering angel in the exhibition Reinventions.

Over the autumn and winter months the National Gallery of Australia hosted ‘a season of sculpture’, with numerous artists presenting lively and informative talks about their works. Among the most memorable presentations were those given by two of Australia’s renowned senior sculptors, Inge King and Bert Flugelman. Both artists have made major contributions to the art of this country. This is evident in their many public commissions that grace our cityscapes and gardens, including the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden, and in their wider sculptural practice over several decades. Both King and Flugelman were born in Europe and both were adventurous exponents of contemporary art from the 1950s. Born in Berlin in 1918, King described herself as ‘an ancient sculptor’. ‘My career has spanned the best part of seventy years. So I’ve been fortunate.’ She recalled that she had a traditional training, just prior to the Second World War and on and off during the war years. Among the key works of this period, Warsaw 1943, in the Gallery’s collection, was made around the time when the horrors of the concentration camps were becoming more widely known. While this early work is overtly figurative, it was not long before King’s works moved more emphatically towards

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an abstract way of working. Among the inspirational sculptors for her in the 1940s was Henry Moore but it was really the time that King spent in New York in 1949 and 1950 that provided a turning point. ‘Just being in New York was fantastic after the dreariness of the war years in Europe. I saw Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock. I became infatuated by Abstract Expressionism.’ In relation to her own work, she became deeply interested in steel sculpture, which was just starting to develop. Inge King recalled in her talk that, although she had received a scholarship to go to America, her Australianborn husband, the renowned printmaker Grahame King, was not able to get a working visa. When she arrived in Australia in 1951 it was something of a shock to the system: ‘It was a bit like a can of flat beer’. She was nevertheless committed to making the most of her new life. ‘It was a new country for me and I really did want to make a go of it. I also had a very supportive husband.’ Sculpture was her chosen path, but it was not until the 1960s that she was able to dedicate herself to her work. Once she started again, King found the landscape was a key source of inspiration. ‘It was really the Australian landscape that fired my imagination ... It is a difficult landscape. No matter how large your sculpture is, it doesn’t mean anything. It can disappear. The only way to work with the landscape is to make sculpture of great simplicity and clarity of form, expressing inner strength and high tension.’ This approach is evident in many of King’s mature works, including her impressive Temple gate 1976–77 in the Gallery’s Sculpture Garden. The work was in part inspired by a visit the artist made to Japan in 1974, especially the archways, known as Torii, in front of Shinto shrines. After the germination of the idea over two years, King had evolved a dramatic sculpture in her own distinctive visual language. The work had come to the attention of the Gallery’s founding director, James Mollison, who had seen it in an exhibition at Realities Gallery in Melbourne. Although Temple gate was not a commission, it works remarkably well in its site in the Sculpture Garden. It has its own strong presence while at the same time interacting beautifully with the landscape through the archway and through the open circle cut within a circle above.

There are some uncanny parallels between this monumental work and King’s much later smaller sculptures, including Wandering angel 2000, acquired by the Gallery in 2003. In this work the circle and wing-like forms recall the shapes in her earlier work. It was not until the 1980s that King had returned to working with the figure. Now, all these years after her European figurative sculptures, her work was very much informed by her experience with abstraction over the years. This enabled her to be increasingly inventive and to do things with the figure that she had not done before. ‘I like to be spontaneous, and to do that I begin by working on a smaller scale.’ The inspiration for Wandering angel and related works came from Paul Klee’s drawings of angels. In King’s series of works around that theme there is a sense of liberation, of taking flight, an idea that had long interested her. As she said: Throughout my career I have been fascinated by flight. This fascination made me abandon carving wood and stone, for steel. Assemblage enabled me to let forms leap into the air and thrust out sideways … [to] balance large objects on small ones … or anchor shapes precariously between two uprights (Temple Gate 1977) … The inspiration for ‘Angels’ came from Paul Klee’s drawings done late in his life. His angels are preoccupied

with death—he was suffering from a terminal illness. My angels are an ode to life. Wings dominate in some, in others they are part of the body jutting out into space. Some are serious, others are humorous—the moor’s last laugh.

Among the most striking aspects of the presentations by both King and Flugelman was their optimism and their ongoing engagement with their sculptural practice. At 90 years of age King noted that her work is more optimistic than it was earlier on; that when you have seen a lot, there is an awareness of the importance of life and the need to make the most of what you have. This is a sentiment shared by Bert Flugelman who, at 86, is still brimming with ideas for his work. In recent years, the Gallery acquired Double spiral 2007, which reveals Flugelman’s capacity to continue to create work that is dynamic and engaging; precise in its geometry and inventive in its vital sense of movement and varied surface textures. Born in Vienna in 1923, Flugelman came to Australia in 1938. In the ensuing years he experimented with a wide range of sculptural techniques. One of his favourite mantras in his formative years as a sculptor was that he found it ‘boring to be too consistent’. By the late 1960s, however, the restless experimentation abated and he began to focus on finding a visual language that worked for him.


Inge King Wandering angel 2000 welded bronze 140 x 65 x 60 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2003

Inge King Temple gate 1976–77 painted steel and aluminium 477 x 238 x 238 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 1977

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Bert Flugelman with his work Cones in the Sculpture Garden, May 2009 Bert Flugelman Double spiral with graffiti 2008 stainless steel 85 x 107 x 85 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased with the generous assistance of Village Roadshow Limited, 2008

Ultimately I find objects more exciting than ephemera. This is a personal choice. I’m not legislating about what you ought to like. There was so much going on that I had to somehow condense it … Anything was fair game. I did performances and installations and ultimately I thought I had to pull it all together in some way. I thought, ‘I will start at the beginning’. I did this by using simple, irreducible geometric solids … the pyramid, cube, tetrahedron, cone, sphere and so on. I had an exhibition in 1972 where I made doubles of the spheres and cones, end to end. The geometric forms and the discipline within geometry itself taught me that within those parameters you can be as inventive and creative as with anything else.

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Having experimented with aluminium and fibreglass, Flugelman soon found that he preferred stainless steel, and he has worked with this medium ever since. As well as discussing many major commissions, Flugelman noted in his talk that he has from time to time enjoyed challenging the boundaries of what constitutes a work of art. A classic example of this was the burying of a large sculpture Tetrahedra, made in 1970 and laid to rest in Commonwealth Park in Canberra in 1975. Flugelman recalled that he was asked to make an earthwork by a former director of the Mildura Arts Centre, Tom McCullough, who was working as a curator on an art and science festival. ‘He asked if I would be interested in doing an earthwork. Quick as a flash I said, “Yes, of course”. He said, “We can let you have a bulldozer and a driver and a site”.’ After some consideration Flugelman decided that Tetrahedra, a work that had been on many journeys to museums and sites around Australia, could be used. The process was undertaken with great care. As Flugelman recalled: The bulldozer driver understood. After we had placed the six tetrahedra carefully in the trench, just as we would in a gallery, he gently filled in the trench making sure the work wasn’t disturbed and making good the landscape. There was nothing left except the curve of the hill and a sign with photographs of the work.

Among the most fascinating images accompanying Flugelman’s talk were those of the making of Cones 1978–82 for the Gallery’s Sculpture Garden. These images took the audience on a journey from the design and construction of an individual cone, through to the gradual sanding and polishing of the seven main components to attain an immaculate finish. He then showed how the seven components needed cages built for them to travel from Adelaide to Canberra and to be lifted into place. Flugelman recalled: Work began on the commission in 1978 and it had to be finished in 1982, in time for the opening of the Gallery. They were brought here from Adelaide on two enormous low loaders and we had to arrange for a police escort … It was a major undertaking but we got them here in time before the Gallery opened.

It was remarkable to recall from the slides the nature of the Sculpture Garden site, as image after image revealed the magnificent Cones being installed in the then-bare landscape, flanked by imposing buildings, with an open vista to the lake. It was fascinating to see the contrast of the original stark space with the established gardens today, and the way the work has settled into the site. Cones, stretching over more than 20 metres in length, is undoubtedly one of Flugelman’s most successful commissions. The precise clarity of the geometry is balanced by its dynamic movement. With four of the seven

cones balancing on points and the other three held in suspended animation, the work appears to defy gravity. Adding to this sense of dynamism, the stainless steel surface is continually changing with the altering reflections of trees, ground, sky and the many people who visit and interact with the work. Flugelman noted in his talk that for him Cones embodies what he had always dreamed of for his public commissions; to create a work that is at once a source of continual engagement and also something of permanence, that will outlast us all. Both Flugelman and King have achieved this in their works, and it was an honour to hear these senior artists discuss aspects of their remarkable journeys into sculpture over the past decades.

Bert Flugelman Cones 1982 polished stainless steel 450 x 2050 x 450 cm (overall) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra commissioned 1976, purchased 1982

Deborah Hart Senior Curator, Australian Painting and Sculpture post 1920 note All quotes from the artists in this article are from discussions with the author and recordings of their talks at the National Gallery of Australia: Bert Flugelman in conversation with Deborah Hart for International Museums Day, 18 May 2009, and Inge King floortalk to coincide with the Reinventions: sculpture + assemblage exhibition, 30 June 2009.


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Kenneth Tyler Collection online

Kenneth Tyler (left) and Roy Lichtenstein (right) discussing Lichtenstein’s print Reflections on Minerva, with paintings from the Reflections series in the background at the artist’s studio in Southampton, New York, USA, 1989. Photograph: Jim McHugh

To those unfamiliar with printmaking, its technical processes can seem mysterious. Especially in the workshops of master printer Kenneth Tyler, where 500-tonne printing presses were housed alongside antique Bavarian lithography stones; where staff in white overalls and rubber boots sprayed paper pulp from moving platforms above works of art; and where traditional Japanese woodblock and papermaking methods were employed in the same

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rooms as photo-mechanical techniques, the engineering of kinetic sculptures, and the making of vast, colourful mixedmedia prints in three dimensions. The newly updated website for the Kenneth Tyler Collection gives visitors a unique, behind-the-scenes look at all these processes and more. Work began on the Tyler Collection website in 2003, and it was officially launched in October 2009. The site features over 70 artists and

Anni Albers  Josef Albers  John Altoon  Sam Amato  Ed Baynard  Per Inge Bjørlo  Stanley Boxer  Anthony Caro John Chamberlain  William Crutchfield  Allan D’Arcangelo  Ronald Davis  Willem De Kooning  Mark Di Suvero Kosso Eloul  Jules Engel  Sam Francis  Helen Frankenthaler  Alberto Giacometti  Joe Goode  Nancy Graves Richard Hamilton  Hardy Hanson  Michael Heizer  Al Held  David Hockney  Paul Jenkins  Jasper Johns  Donald Judd Ellsworth Kelly  Edward Kienholz  RB Kitaj  Piotr Kowalski  Nicholas Krushenick  Terence La Noue  Roy Lichtenstein Man Ray  Richard Meier  Joan Mitchell  Malcolm Morley  Robert Motherwell  Bruce Nauman  John Newman Kenneth Noland  Hugh O’Donnell  Claes Oldenburg  George (Earl) Ortman  Sam Posey  Kenneth Price  Patrick Procktor Joe Raffaele  Robert Rauschenberg  George Rickey  James Rosenquist  Edward Ruscha  David Salle  Arthur Secunda Maurice Sendak  Richard Serra  Ben Shahn  Alan Shields  Richard Smith  TL Solien  Keith Sonnier  Steven Sorman Frank Stella  Donald Sultan  Altoon Sultan  Rikio Takahashi  Masami Teraoka  Wayne Thiebaud  Gina Tomao Jack Tworkov  John Walker  Andy Warhol  Charles White  Robert Zakanitch

presents an exciting visual history of printmakers working from 1963 to 2002. Prominent figures in twentieth-century American art, such as Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella, are included on the website. Some artists worked with Tyler over several decades while others, such as Andy Warhol and Donald Judd, collaborated with the printer on a one-off basis. One highlight of the website is an ever-expanding repository of over 3000 high-quality digital images of original works of art in the National Gallery of Australia’s collection. Experimental, abandoned and working proofs are incorporated where possible, to give the viewer an insight into the development of an image. Also available on the site are hundreds of rare candid photographs of artists at work in the different Tyler workshop locations, as well their own studios. Because candid photography is shot without the staged lighting, backdrops and poise of professional photographic portraits, it captures the action of the workshop in a spontaneous and unobtrusive way. The result is like a glimpse into a private photo album, and gives an understanding of the collaborative nature of the printmaking process, characterised by many complex, labour-intensive techniques—but also by happy accidents. This rare collection of photographs was compiled over decades by Ken and Marabeth Tyler and given exclusively to the National Gallery of Australia in 2002, where it will continue to be digitised and published online. The Tyler website also preserves rare 16-mm film and sound footage from these years that has been cleaned and copied in digital format to ensure access for future generations. In co-operation with the National Film and Sound Archive, this audiovisual material will be harnessed progressively to support future exhibitions. Along with material from the Tyler Film, Sound and Photography collection, the website showcases extensive artist and exhibition chronologies; a comprehensive technical glossary; electronic access to original print prospectuses and publications; a virtual, three-dimensional user-navigated exhibition tour; and over 40 photographic essays that document the technical experimentation carried out in the Tyler workshops. Online visitors are invited to view this site—which has been developed by Andrew Powrie, the Gallery’s online manager—and to take a dynamic journey through the decades-long creative collaboration behind some of the most iconic images of twentieth-century American art. Gwen Horsfield Curatorial Assistant, Kenneth Tyler Collection View the Kenneth Tyler Collection website at

Roy Lichtenstein using an electric handtool to carve the woodblock for the black printing of his Reflections on Conversation, Tyler Graphics workshop, Mount Kisco, New York, 1990. Photograph: Jim McHugh

Roy Lichtenstein carving black woodblock element for his print Reflections on The Scream, with a detail of cartoon character baby Swee’pea, Tyler Graphics Ltd artists studio, Mount Kisco, New York, 1989. Photograph: Kenneth Tyler

(opposite) Roy Lichtenstein uses a hand gouge to carve the woodblock for his print Reflections on Crash, Tyler Graphics Ltd artists studio, Mount Kisco, New York, 1989. Photograph: Jim McHugh


summer 2009–10



J Miller Marshall Fossicking for gold

English-born landscape artist J Miller Marshall arrived in Australia in the late 1880s. It appears that he was initially drawn to Victoria in search of gold but stayed for the art. Miller Marshall had returned to England by the mid 1890s and may have taken with him a number of works painted in Australia. Fossicking for gold c 1893 is a rare oil painting from Miller Marshall’s time in Australia. It depicts a scene at the Creswick goldfields near Ballarat in Victoria and is from a period when a second large discovery of gold attracted many fossickers into the area. Fossickers were miners who searched through mined earth for any remaining gold and, in this painting, Miller Marshall portrays two fossickers at rest. One miner is standing with his shovel astride his shoulder, while the other is seated smoking a pipe; positioned beside him is the conspicuously empty gold pan. While it is probable that the figures in Miller Marshall’s painting were based on models, he has successfully conveyed a sense of a momentary break from the hard work of labouring in the blistering heat of an Australian summer’s day. Miller Marshall’s response to the colours and qualities of the Australian light and landscape reveal a glowing yet heavily mined earth, coloured with rich yellows and ochres. And the roughly textured bark of the two gum trees and scattered rocks in the foreground are rendered in shades of smoky blues, pinks and greens. For several weeks in January of 1893, Miller Marshall and fellow artist Walter Withers ran plein-air painting classes at Creswick. It is likely that Miller Marshall and Withers worked side by side at this time, with Withers painting a strikingly similar work, Fossickers 1893. This work is also held by the National Gallery of Australia and the comparison of the two paintings yields insights into the differences between the artists’ handling of paint and approach to composition. J Miller Marshall Fossicking for gold 1893 oil on canvas 54.5 x 39 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra gift of Jenny, David and Melissa Manton in memory of Jack Manton, 2009

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In addition, a third, unsigned work depicting the very same scene is held in the collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum. This work, also titled Fossicking for gold 1893, was previously attributed to Miller Marshall; however, it is now believed that this work may have been painted by Percy Lindsay. A member of the well-known Lindsay family, Percy grew up in Creswick and is celebrated for his paintings of the surrounding area. He and his brother Lionel were among the students who Miller Marshall and Withers taught in the summer of 1893. Little is known about Miller Marshall except that he was a founding member of the Norwich Art Circle from 1885 until 1904 and was one of five children; his father was the

Norwich-based artist Peter Paul Marshall (1830–1900). Miller Marshall is most recognised for his watercolours but was also proficient in oil painting. He had a number of paintings selected for exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. Miller Marshall’s Fossicking for gold was recently gifted to the national collection by Jenny, David and Melissa Manton in memory of the late Jack Manton. This painting is currently on public display at the National Gallery of Australia, alongside the unsigned Fossicking for gold, on loan from Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, and the Gallery’s Fossickers by Walter Withers.

Walter Withers Fossickers 1893 oil on canvas 67.7 x 49 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra gift of Mrs Alec de Bretteville, 1969

Percy Lindsay (attributed) Fossicking for gold 1893 oil on canvas 45.5 x 34 cm Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum purchased as a tribute to Miss BK Leviny, 2007

Miriam Kelly Assistant Curator, Australian Painting and Sculpture


summer 2009–10



John Skinner Prout Break of Day Plains, Tasmania and The River Barwon, Victoria John Skinner Prout Break of Day Plains, Tasmania c 1845 watercolour 26 x 38 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2009

The River Barwon, Victoria c 1847 watercolour 27.2 x 37.8 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2009

Australia Illustrated was the most popular illustrated book produced during the period of colonial expansion in the late nineteenth century and was a clear demonstration of Australia’s developing nationhood. Intended as a comprehensive survey of the southern colonies, the volumes were published in England between 1873 and 1876 by Edwin Carton Booth and were adorned with steel engravings of landscape views by John Skinner Prout and Nicholas Chevalier. English watercolourist and drawing master John Skinner Prout was born in 1805 in Plymouth, Devon, and worked in Australia from 1840 to 1848. On returning to London he took with him a number of sketchbooks and many of his Australian watercolours, which later featured in Australia Illustrated. The recently acquired Break of Day Plains, Tasmania c 1845 and The River Barwon, Victoria c 1847 were both subjects of engravings by E Brandard, accompanying chapters on Tasmania and Victoria respectively. After sketching Sydney and its environs for over three years, Prout moved to Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land, in 1844, where he gained recognition as one of the most progressive artists working in the colony. He was instrumental in arranging the first art exhibitions in Australia in 1845 and 1846, delivered a number of subscription lectures on painting, and was a stimulating influence on amateur artists through the sketching clubs he formed. Prout explored the rural and urban landscapes of Hobart from May to December 1844, working on material for the lithographs that appeared in volume one of Tasmania Illustrated. It was during this period that Prout became the centre of an extensive amateur sketching culture based on the Bristol sketching club he had been a part of from 1832 to 1837. Following the principles of plein air painting, the Hobart Town club was formed in 1845 and included artists GTWB Boyes, Francis Simpkinson de Wesselow, Louisa Anne Meredith, Ellen Burgess and Jeanie Louisa Stewart Dunn, Bishop Nixon, colonial treasurer Peter Gordon Fraser and architect William Porden Kay.

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In December 1845, the club set out from Hobart Town on an excursion up the east coast of Van Dieman’s Land to St Mary’s Pass, the Fingal Valley and Launceston. Painted during this trip, Prout’s wonderfully fresh watercolour Break of Day Plains, Tasmania features a pastoral staffage in the foreground, heightened with body colour, opening out to the wide expanse of the Mt Nicholas Ranges and the South Esk River. This view across the valley displays Prout’s facility with the watercolour medium. He excelled in this technique, favouring rapid sketches rather than highly finished paintings, which resulted in a number of small atmospheric works. Accompanied by Francis Simpkinson, in mid December 1846, Prout travelled to Port Phillip to paint and sketch Melbourne and its surrounds for the lithographic folio Views of Melbourne and Geelong. By early January, the artists had moved on to Tallarook and Goulburn Valley, returning to Melbourne via Geelong and the Barwon Valley. In the deftly painted The Barwon River, Victoria, Prout has positioned a couple in the foreground, looking out over the river towards a homestead nestled in a rural landscape. This quiet impression of everyday life is further emphasised by the inclusion of two men fishing off a punt on the river and the haze of smoke from the emerging settlement of Geelong in the distance. Rather than the more precise topographical views of Simpkinson, the largely self-trained Prout preferred a lyrical vision of the landscape, championing the right of the artist to interpret freely rather than merely imitate. Capturing the valley’s cool light, The Barwon River, Victoria is among the earliest depictions of the region and certainly the earliest in the National Gallery of Australia’s collection. These two lively sketches depict a significant aspect of Prout’s Australian oeuvre. Until now the National Gallery of Australia only held the highly finished exhibition watercolour, Aborigine stalking—Willoughby Falls, New South Wales c 1850, completed after the artist’s return to London in 1848. Emma Colton Australian Prints and Drawings


Mawalan Marika The Milky Way Mawalan Marika The Milky Way c 1965 natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 177.5 x 63.5 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2009

One of the most important Yolngu artists in the history of bark painting, Mawalan Marika was born before the time of early European invasion into what is now the Arnhem Land region. He lived in country near Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land, roughly 700 kilometres east of Darwin, which has approximately 25 homeland centres within a 200-kilometre radius. The area itself is known as the Miwatj region, which means ‘morning side’, and refers to the fact that it is the most eastern part of the Top End of Australia. Marika was a senior religious leader, not only of the Rirratjingu clan but also of the Dhuwa moiety, as well as a warrior, songman and dancer. In 1935, the Methodist Overseas Mission sought to establish a mission station at Yirrkala on Rirratjingu land. Although he was strongly protective of traditional culture and the Yolngu way of life, Mawalan supported the missionaries and assisted in clearing the land for a school, houses, roads and the mission farm. Politically, he was a key figure in several historic negotiations between the Yolngu people and the outside community. From the 1940s, Marika assisted the Australian anthropologists Charles P Mountford and Ronald and Catherine Berndt with their research into Yolngu culture and society and, in the late 1950s, he was commissioned by Tony Tuckson and Stuart Scougall to make large bark paintings for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 1962, he played a leading role in producing painted panels on Yolngu religious themes, which were installed in the Yirrkala Church, contributing to the regional reconciliation of two very different cultures—the English and the Yolngu. In 1963, Marika was one of the signatories of the famous Yirrkala Bark Petitions presented to Parliament to protest the Commonwealth’s granting of mining rights. The historic petitions were not only the first traditional documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were formally recognised by the Australian Parliament but they were also the first recognised native title claim. Mawalan Marika was significant in establishing the bark painting tradition of the Top End. He led the way in producing traditional paintings on bark for sale to outsiders and, with Narritjin Maymurru and Mungurrawuy Yunupingu, they developed a narrative approach for their

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paintings. This became characteristic of much Yirrkala art of the 1960s to the 1980s, and this bark is a classic example of that style. Marika taught bark painting to the boys at the mission school and, in 1963, lived and worked for two months in Sydney—he was one the first Yolngu to travel that far south. He also played an important role in encouraging Yolngu women to paint at a time when women were not allowed to produce sacred paintings. Marika was an influential figure at the head of one of the most important artistic families to emerge from Yirrkala to date. His brothers Mathaman and Dadaynga ‘Roy’ Marika, son Wandjuk Marika, daughters Dhuwarrwarr and Banduk Marika and brother-in-law Mungurrawuy Yunupingu are all celebrated artists. This bark painting by Marika depicts Baru the crocodile, an important creation ancestor for the Yolngu people. The black vertical strip on the bark denotes the Milky Way, which is regarded by many northern Aboriginal people as a river in the night sky, teeming with fish and other creatures. The origins of the creation of the Milky Way vary from group to group. According to the chronicles of the Rirratjingu and related Dhuwa clans, two brothers were fishing in their bark canoe when it capsized in a strong wind. One brother’s body washed up on shore; the other’s sank. The crocodile Baru went looking for food and smelled the body of the brother on the beach. The two brothers and Baru then ascended into the night sky and became constellations. A group of Possum ancestors who were conducting a ceremony—playing didgeridoo and clap sticks while women danced—saw the stars and they too ascended into the heavens. The ancestral Native Cat, the submerged canoe and the Scorpion, who was once a man, also joined the others in the night sky. All became constellations. Two bags of stars projecting from the Milky Way in the upper left represent Djulpan, the belt of Orion: the triangular bag is male, the elliptical one female. This work by Mawalan Marika will be a feature work in the new Indigenous Australian galleries that open next year as part of the Stage 1 building project. Chantelle Woods Assistant Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art


Devare & Co Prince Yeshwant Rao Holkar and his sister Manorama Raje Devare & Co Gopinath Devare photographer Prince Yeshwant Rao Holkar and his sister Manorama Raje c 1918 watercolour on gelatin silver photograph 36.7 x 26.6 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2009

This graceful portrait of Prince Yeshwant, the eldest child of HH Maharaja Tukoji Rao 3rd of the Maratha state of Indore in Central India, and his younger sister Manorama Raje is an outstanding example of the distinctive genre of handcoloured royal portrait photography popular in India in the early to mid twentieth century. The subtle colouring gives substance and life to the rich silks and satin garments worn by the young royals. The photograph was taken by court photographer Gopinath Devare, most likely at his studio in Bombay and perhaps prior to the prince going to Cheam School in England in 1920. The Holkar children’s portrait is more complex than the standard royal portrait pose of a figure leaning up against a plinth or seated at a table. Prince Yeshwant and sister Manorama appear, instead, as if the photographer had come upon them in the corner of an English-style drawing room. The foreign setting might seem odd for a portrait of Indian royalty but European antiques were fashionable in the country’s palaces and photography studios; Indian photographers also adopted poses, props and backdrops from imported European portrait photographs. The inspiration for the setting was most likely the relaxed ‘at home’ style of the aristocratic portraiture known as a ‘conversazione’, or conversation piece, which was in vogue in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Prince Yeshwant acceded as Rao Holkar Bahadur, 14th Maharaja of Indore in 1926, but only assumed rule from 1930, after further Western education in England. He remained ruler of Indore until Indian Independence in 1947—Indore was then subsumed into the state of Madhya Pradesh. After his schooling, the prince developed a dislike of the British, although he maintained an appreciation for other parts of Europe and later enjoyed American culture. His second and third wives were American. This high quality work by a twentieth-century Indian photographer is important to the Gallery’s representation of the history of photography in Asia and has connections to other areas of the collection. Maharaja Yeshwant was an enthusiast for modern European art, furniture and architecture and had avant-garde photographer Man

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Ray take his first honeymoon photographs in Paris with Maharani Sanyogit Devi Holkar. As soon as he was installed as ruler in 1930, Maharaja Yeshwant commissioned Eckart Muthesius, a young German architect, to build a new palace outside Indore. Called Manik Bagh (Jewel Gardens) the palace had white streamlined internationalstyle architecture and was filled with modernist designer furniture and works of art, including a number of pieces by the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. In 1936, the Maharaja purchased three late versions of Brancusi’s Bird in space—one in black marble, one in white marble and one in bronze—and commissioned the artist to design a ‘temple of meditation’ to house them in the palace grounds. Brancusi had various designs, including ones with a reflective water pool, and travelled to Indore in 1937 to begin work. By then, however, the Maharaja had apparently lost interest—he was possibly mourning for the death of the Maharani—and the work on the temple of meditation never began. The Maharaja’s pair of marble ‘birds’ now reside in a different ‘temple of meditation’, inside the National Gallery of Australia. They were acquired from the Maharaja’s daughter in 1973. The Gallery’s display of the two stunning sculptures reflects some of Brancusi’s ideas for their installation in the Indore Royal palace garden. Gopinath Devare became official photographer of all Indian States, and he and his associates at Devare & Co were active as photographers of the Imperial Durbar in 1911. Devare was reputedly the first Indian to be awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Photography in London. He travelled to Indore in May 1930 to record the prince’s investiture—the commemorative album opens with a tinted studio portrait of Yeshwant in the same delicate style as his earlier portrait. Gael Newton Senior Curator, Photography


Walter Burley Griffin Desk chair for Newman College

Walter Burley Griffin Desk chair for Newman College 1917 Japanese oak, steel, iron, leatherette 104 x 59 x 60 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased 2009

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The architect Walter Burley Griffin was born near Chicago in 1876. He graduated in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1899 and worked in the office of eminent Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright from 1901 to 1906 before establishing his own practice in Chicago. Stirred by the Federation movement in Australia, Griffin developed an interest in town planning, and he entered and won the 1912 competition for the design of the new federal capital city of Australia, Canberra. He relocated to Australia in 1914 to work on this project and later to run his own architectural practice in Melbourne and Sydney. He left Australia in 1935 to work in India, where he died in 1937. This chair is part of the furniture from Griffin’s second largest project in Australia, the University of Melbourne’s Newman College, which he designed in 1915. The building’s character—an amalgam of meso-American and southern European Gothic styles—was expressed through strong, modern geometric detailing in stone and wood. It was reflected in the plain, angular suites of furniture designed by Griffin to provide a calm and integrated environment for research and study. Several firms produced this range of furniture for the project, using unadorned Japanese oak with minimal plain brown leather upholstery in the manner of American Arts and Crafts furniture of the period. This swivelling and tilting office chair was produced by Melbourne church furniture specialists Fallshaw and Sons (established in 1875). The chair’s uncompromising form and functionality are rare qualities in Australian design of the period. Its flat planes and slanted design elements reveal a debt to Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1903 designs for office and library furniture, while its dynamic angles show similarities in approach to Czech Cubist furniture designs of 1912–14. In synthesising such diverse influences, Griffin produced a suite of furniture unique in Australian design. Robert Bell Senior Curator, Decorative Arts and Design


Erich Heckel White horses

Erich Heckel, EL Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl and Karl SchmidtRottluff were the founding members of the German Expressionist group Die Brücke (The Bridge). From 1905, Die Brücke were determined to break new ground in German art by rejecting academic conventions and adopting the striking imagery and techniques that they observed in the work of African and Pacific cultures. The group radically revitalised the Germanic printmaking tradition and their works stand today as some of the most important print works ever produced. Heckel created White horses (Weisse Pferde) in 1912, a year after Die Brücke moved from Dresden to Berlin. The relocation to a large city caused a dramatic change in Heckel’s work as the artist reacted to the metropolis by producing works that were introspective and melancholy. In contrast, White horses depicts a combination of animals and figures within an Arcadian landscape, giving the scene a lyrical tone that is markedly divergent from the artist’s other figurative works. The woodcut shows two men leading two white horses along a path. As they near a junction, a third figure walks towards them. Heckel’s treatment of the landscape is masterly: three trees bend towards the right side of the image, buffeted by a breeze that is evoked by a rough cutting of the wood. The irregular slope of the top edge of the woodblock is also harnessed by Heckel as a visual device to underscore this sense of energy and to heighten the anticipation; a meeting of the three figures is imminent. Perhaps the art historical events of 1912 are key to Heckel’s uncharacteristic choice of subject. It was during this year that Heckel met the leading artists of the Munichbased artists group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky. Marc, in particular, viewed the horse as a symbol of energy and strength and had adopted this motif as the major theme in his work. The unusual appearance of the horse in Heckel’s White horses, in combination with the meeting of three figures, can be interpreted as a momentary fusion of the ideas of two revolutionary artist groups: Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke.

Erich Heckel White horses (Weisse Pferde) 1912 woodcut image 30 x 31 cm sheet 68 x 53.3 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra The Poynton Bequest, 2009

Jaklyn Babington Assistant Curator, International Prints and Drawings


summer 2009–10









faces in view 1

Ita Buttrose and daughter-in-law Adrianne Macdonald, with The lime tree 1917, at the opening of McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17, 13 August 2009.


Larissa, Joanna and Kristiane Pang at the McCubbin opening.


Sir Michael Parkinson with JM Crossland’s Portrait of Nannultera, a young Poonindie cricketer 1854.


Performers portray iconic Post-Impressionist figures at the Gallery’s Big Draw event, 20 September 2009.


A young girl draws the garden outside as part of Big Draw, 20 September 2009.


Margaret Cerabona and Barbara Blake, with Bush sawyers 1910, at the McCubbin opening.


Tina Baum, Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Carly Lane, Curator, Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, at the media preview for Emerging Elders, 1 October 2009.


Visitors of all ages participate in the many Big Draw activities at the Gallery, 20 September 2009.


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the World Presidents Organisation dinner at the Gallery on 22 October 2009.



10 Deborah Hart, Senior Curator, Australian Painting and Sculpture post-1920, interviews artist John Olsen in a public forum, 17 September 2009, in association with Big Draw.


Travelling exhibitions summer 2009–10


Exhibition venues and dates may be subject to change. Please contact the Gallery or venue before your visit. For more information on travelling exhibitions, telephone (02) 6240 6525 or send an email to McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17

Frederick McCubbin The old slip, Williamstown 1915

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA, 11 December 2009 – 29 March 2010

private collection

Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Vic, 24 April – 25 July 2010 Discover Frederick McCubbin’s rarely displayed later works and experience his striking use of colour in the first McCubbin exhibition to be held in almost 20 years. See this iconic Australian artist in a new light as he depicted a modern Australia in cityscapes, sea views, landscapes and portraits. Proudly sponsored by R.M.Williams, Exhibition Benefactor the Hon Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer and Media Partner ABC Local Radio

Robert Dowling: Tasmanian son of Empire

Robert Dowling Mrs Adolphus Sceales with Black Jimmie on Merrang Station 1855–56

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston, Tas, 6 March – 25 April 2010 Robert Dowling holds a special place in the history of Australian art. He was the first artist to be trained in Australia and was renowned for his paintings of pastoralists

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra purchased from the Founding Donor Fund 1984

and their properties, Indigenous people and biblical themes. This is the first major exhibition of his oeuvre, including his much-lauded orientalist subjects. Supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia. Also proudly supported by the National Gallery of Australia Council Exhibitions Fund.

Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors

Richard Bell Australian art it’s an Aboriginal thing 2006

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC, USA, 8 September – 6 December 2009

TarraWarra Museum of Art Collection acquired 2006 Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery

Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors presents the highly original and accomplished work of 30 Indigenous Australian artists from every state and territory. Featuring outstanding works in a variety of media, the exhibition draws inspiration from the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (Aboriginals) and demonstrates the breadth and calibre of contemporary Indigenous art practice. Proudly supported by principal sponsor BHP Billiton, airline sponsor Qantas, and Australian Government sponsors the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy/Visions of Australia/ Contemporary Touring Initiative, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Queensland Government, the Northern Territory Government, the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Culture and the Arts and Arts Victoria.

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift These suitcases thematically present a selection of art objects that may be borrowed free-of-charge for the enjoyment of children and adults in regional, remote and metropolitan centres. For further details and bookings telephone (02) 6240 6650 or email Blue case: technology South East Arts, Bega, NSW, 8–26 February 2010 Country Arts SA, c/o Riddoch Art Gallery, Mt Gambier, SA, 3–31 March 2010 Red case: myths and rituals and Yellow case: form, space and design Arts Access Victoria (Melbourne), 15 February – 13 April 2010 The National Gallery of Australia Travelling Exhibitions Program is generously supported by Australian airExpress.

1888 Melbourne Cup Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tas, 9 March – 7 April 2010 Emily O’Brien Hair chairs 2004, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (in Blue case: technology)

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Contemporary Touring Initiative

Visions of Australia

A wide range of Australian collecting institutions and other organisations can apply for funding to develop and tour contemporary Australian visual arts and craft exhibitions.

A national touring exhibitions program making high quality cultural exhibitions accessible to more Australians.

The program guidelines are now broader and we encourage eligible institutions and organisations to apply for funding.

Closing dates for funding applications: 1 April for projects commencing on or after 1 September that year.

Closing date: Check our website

1 September

The program guidelines and application form can be obtained from:

Program guidelines and applications forms can be obtained from

Email: Phone: 02 6275 9519

Email: Phone: 02 6275 9517

The Contemporary Touring Initiative aims to:

Funding is available to assist eligible organisations to develop and tour exhibitions of Australian Cultural Material across Australia.

t FODPVSBHFXJEFSBVEJFODFBDDFTTUPDPOUFNQPSBSZ Australian visual arts and craft; t QSPNPUFDPOUFNQPSBSZ"VTUSBMJBOWJTVBMBSUTBOEDSBGU through quality publications, education and public programs and fora held as part of the touring exhibition; and

for projects commencing on or after 1 February the following year.

‘Australian Cultural Material’ is material relevant to Australian culture due to its historical, scientific, artistic or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander significance which: t IBTBQSFEPNJOBOUMZ"VTUSBMJBOUIFNFPS

t FODPVSBHFDVSBUPSJBMQBSUOFSTIJQTBOEDPMMBCPSBUJPO between funded organisations and collecting institutions.


The Contemporary Touring Initiative is managed by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia Program.

The Visions of Australia program is administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.


Acknowledgements (clockwise from top left): Maringka Baker Anmangunga 2006 Synthetic polymer paint on canvas 136.5 x 202.5 cm. Courtesy of Art Gallery of South Australia. Featured in Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial developed and toured by the National Gallery of Australia. © Maringka Baker | Mavis Ganambarr Basket 2006 (detail) Pandanus fibre, natural dyes, fibre string 48 x 38.2 cm (diameter). Photo: Peter Eve | Belinda Winkler Swell Slipcast ceramic vessels, dimensions variable. Photo: Phil Kuruvita | The Ngurrara Canvas painted by Ngurrara artists and claimants coordinated by Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, May 1997, 10 x 8 m | Anne Zahalka The Bathers 1989 type C photograph 74 x 90 cm

e r u t c yourself in Pi

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rra The Canbe great region is a for food n o i t a n i t s de overs and wine l

Invite your friends and family to sample award-winning wines, fresh regional produce and spectacular views at a vineyard cafe or restaurant in the stunning rural surrounds of the ACT. Grab a Canberra District Wineries Guide, tour some of the region’s best wineries and enjoy delicious food matched with cool climate wines — but be sure to leave plenty of room in your car for gourmet treats! For a copy of the Canberra Holiday Planner or the Canberra Gourmet Guide call 1300 554 114 or

46 national gallery of australia

Depuis 1849 Excellence et IndÊpendance Proud supporter of the National Gallery of Australia and official French Champagne Partner of the Post Impressionist: Masterpieces from the MusÊe d’Orsay art exhibition.

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Paintbox F I N E






Create your own Masterpiece Proudly sponsoring McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907-1917 1800 339 532




summer 2009–10


C • A • N•B •E •R•R•A



The Brassey of Canberra

4 DEC 2009 – 5 APR 2010 • CANBERRA ONLY

Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh’s bedroom at Arles 1889 Musée d’Orsay, Paris © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

National Gallery of g Australia Package



Per night. Extra night $192.00. Subject to availablity. Extra person $25.00.

Includes Heritage room for two guests, full buffet breakfast for 2, two tickets to the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

Belmore Gardens and Macquarie Street, Barton ACT 2600 Telephone: 02 6273 3766 Facsimile: 02 6273 2791 Toll Free Telephone: Email: Web: http: // 50 national gallery of australia

Canberran Owned and Operated

BE AT HOME WITH THE CANBERRA TIMES The Canberra Times is the leading source for news, the arts and lifestyle and home to Canberra’s premier arts magazine, Panorama. Every week, The Canberra Times tantalises readers with the Food&Wine lift-out. Subscribe to The Canberra Times home delivery today for less than $5 per week. 17 weeks of 7-day home delivery for only $74.80*. Call 02 6280 2222 now to take advantage of the introductory offer to readers of artonview.



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Where are you staying?

Vincent van Gogh Starry night 1888 Musée d'Orsay, Paris © RMN (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Conveniently close to both Manuka and Kingston shopping villages. Only three km from the National Gallery of Australia Packages available


1800 655 754 (02) 6239-9411


16 Eyre St Kingston BOOK NOW AND RECEIVE




" N G A" A T T H E 02 6175 2222




















The Art of... Storage


Cypress Cabinet, Zhejiang province, China, late 1700s


On view at

The Silk Road Gallery Open 10 am to 4 pm every day 19 Kennedy Street, Kingston (10 mins walk from National Gallery of Australia) Phone 6295 0192

Porcelain artonview

summer 2009–10



GARRY SHEAD Young Prince 2003 Sold March 2006$204,000 (including buyer’s premium) Private collection, Sydney

CONSIGNMENT OR GUARANTEE DEUTSCHER~MENZIES & LAWSON~MENZIES SYDNEY MARCH 2010 MAJOR FINE ART AUCTION For free, confidential appraisals by our art specialists please contact: Sydney 02 8344 5404 / Litsa Veldekis 0411 030 416 Melbourne 03 9832 8700 / Tim Abdallah 0411 079 252 WWW.MENZIESARTBRANDS.COM

Providing you with outstanding results for over a decade...


the Ballets Russes

IN AUSTRALIA 1936–1940



NATIONAL GALLERY PACKAGE $190.00 This is a sensational package. Spend the night in one of our newly refurbished standard rooms enjoying Foxtel, high speed broadband access, mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities. Away from the noise of traffic, but still close enough to the centre of Canberra to really enjoy all Canberra has to offer. Then enjoy a scrumptious continental buffet style breakfast in our new breakfast bar looking out at the surrounding mountains. We will also provide 2 adult passes to The National Gallery of Australia’s current exhibition Masterpieces from Paris.

Vincent van Gogh Starry night (La nuit étoilée) 1888 oil on canvas Musée d’Orsay, Paris © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski


summer 2009–10


3 December 2009 – 5 May 2010 Love touches us all. Discover stories of love and longing in time of war. Explore the emotions felt by couples – the pain of separation, the grief of loss and the great joy of reunion. Free entry Open daily 10 am – 5 pm (Closed Christmas Day)


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Saturday 21–Sunday 22 August 2010 A symposium on early Asian photographers and their studio practices and cross-cultural photographic exchanges in the Asia—Pacific region. Presented by the Research School of Humanities, Australian National University and the National Gallery of Australia. Call for papers Abstracts required by 24 February 2010. For details see or contact Dr Luke Gartlan, University of St Andrews, e:, or Ms Gael Newton, National Gallery of Australia, e:

A shop like no other! From Friday 4 December, the National Gallery of Australia Shop will be filled with a range of gifts perfect for Christmas and beyond.


Don’t miss out on treasures inspired by the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition and the sumptuous exhibition catalogue as well as a diverse range of fabulous books for adults and children.

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Emerging Elders

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honouring our senior Indigenous artists from the national collection


The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency

Harry Tjutjuna Wangka Tjukurpa (Spiderman) 2007 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2008

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National Gallery of Australia Shop | Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600

T (02) 6240 6420 | E

2009.Q4 | artonview 60 Summer 2009  
2009.Q4 | artonview 60 Summer 2009