1 February 2016
Amongst the artz
Visitors out of town and quiet amongst the institutions. Megan and I took an afternoon for a short visit. Not Tom Roberts or the celestial empire, although they look great and are planned. Just to see the new thematic layout in the National Gallery and the switch of Australian downstairs and International upstairs. I liked it. I especially liked the occasional walls of profusions of artworks. These galleries have lots of painting; I'm not sure why they don't show them off to the max. They do at the AGSO and Palazzo Pitti and the like. They are touching on it here, and those busy spaces are the most inviting judged by the numbers perusing. Maybe the sex and beach theme helped in one gallery. I liked the lower ceilings for Blue poles and Hockney's Grand Canyon was hugely better hung where it now is. Perhaps a busier wall would have helped but it worked. Our local Ex de Medici gets a seriously prominent spot, as does another local, Patricia Piccinini, and there's more poignant humour with a Refugee astronaut. Not everything is moved: Asian, Indian, Aboriginal and such galleries are in place, but this change deserves a few visits. On the way, we dropped in to the National Portrait Gallery to find Dirk, Lachlan and Stewart playing and modelling in the foyer. An amusing concept. Jazz musicians play; amateur artists draw. Nice.
We visited the National Gallery of Australia. Dirk Zeylmans (tenor), Lachlan Coventry (bass, guitar) and Stewart King (guitar) were playing for live (not life) drawing in the foyer of the NPG.