Sunday, August 09, 2009

Brack, Lye and Dali

For Katrina's birthday this year, I purchased tickets for her and I to go along to two of the major art exhibitions showing in Melbourne this winter. She made her way down this morning, and we walked along Rathdowne Street to find a spot for brunch. Jumping on a tram into town and Fed Square, we used our first set of tickets at the Ian Potter Centre.

John Brack is one of Katie's favourite artists, and his collection has been on show in town for many weeks, but this weekend was the last. Iconic Australia pieces, like Man In Pub, and the mesmerising Collins St, 5pm were here, in this display of Brack's everyday life works.

Walking through the rooms taking in his suburb depiction, his dancers with Latin American Grand Final. His colours and lines, and subject matter, capture the essence of Australia. The Car and Men's Wear are taking in such everyday scenes, and yet seem filled with such character.

Moving through the rooms, and consequently Brack's life and sequence of works, we walked past groups of pieces centering around the use of pencils, later the use of a marble table was his commonality. The Battle, depicting the Battle of Waterloo, and the others from this group with pencils and cards, were quite amusing.

We had a snack and drink break at the ACMI Lounge, before following the signs to a bonus free exhibit for the day, which was recommended to me by Juzzie.

Downstairs was the Len Lye exhibit, which started with warnng signed about the need to allow your eyes to adjust to the lighting as we walked down the stairs.

Walking through and watching short film creations throughout the exhibit, these were the most impressive of Lye's works. Some made for advertisements, others are collections of ideas and images. You can totally lose yourself among these. I definately want to pop back sometime and catch the moving installations that are all timed for different display intervals. They look intriging!

Next we walked over the Yarra to the National Gallery of Victoria, to use our tickets for Dali. Having visited the Dali Museum in Spain when I was in Europe, I have been looking forward to walking through this collection since it's opening here in Melbourne.

Moving through the crowds, we took in most of the over 200 pieces of 'Salvador DalĂ­: Liquid Desire'. The disintegration of The persistence of memory was here, from his most famous images, along with his Lobster Telephone and striking self portraits.

Such an unusual collection, with the influence of his study of Freud and psychoanalysis creeping in and staying as a central theme. One of the highlights of this exhibit was the showing of Destino, the film put together from the work of Dali and Walt Disney, who briefly worked together on this recently finished piece.

Dali's move into Hollywood, and his uses in Hitchcock's work is quite mind-blowing. What a talent, with such a range shown in this exhibit, including jewelery pieces. The collection is also sporting the Memory of the Child - Woman, which returns to Melbourne after creating all matter of controvery when it was first here back in 1939.

A great, and very full, day of art, with 3 pretty amazing collections. Happy birthday, Katie!

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