Eugene von Guérard: Nature revealed 27 April – 15 July 2012
Eugene von Guérard (1811–1901) is arguably Australia’s, and certainly Victoria’s, most important colonial landscape painter.
Born in Vienna and trained as
a painter in the European art centres of Rome, Naples and Düsseldorf; von Guérard migrated to Australia in 1852.
Von Guérard’s meticulous landscapes are remarkable in their detail and much valued for their depiction of Australian and particularly, Victorian, landscapes of the mid-1800s. This exhibition demonstrates how von Guerard’s artistic endeavours in Australia were informed by his interest in the geography, geology and vegetation of the Australian ‘New World’. His representations of the forests of Gippsland and the Otways, the crater lakes of Victoria’s volcanic Western District and the peaks of the Kosciuszko plateau hold important environmental significance today.
The work of von Guérard has not been the subject of a dedicated exhibition since 1980. Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed is a National Gallery of Victoria Touring Exhibition and features over 150 works, including many of von Guérard’s beloved iconic landscapes, as well as several beautifully illustrated sketch books, and some never-before-seen paintings. Through his detailed brushstrokes and breathtaking compositions, visitors can explore the magnificent Australian, New Zealand and European landscapes he captured on his expeditions around the world.
Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed is on show in the Project and Orde Poynton Galleries until 15 July 2012.
A range of public programs accompanying the exhibition, including talks, a special book club event and 'tales for the very young', can be viewed on our events calendar.
banner image: Eugene von Guérard 'Lake Wakatipu with Mount Earnslaw, Middle Island, New Zealand' 1877–79 (detail) Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1971.
From May to July 2012, the National Gallery will celebrate the second National Indigenous Art Triennial, unDisclosed. Over autumn and winter, Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to experience the dynamic visual expression of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. 20 artists have been selected for their commitment to excellence and their daring to explore new fields of practice and artistic vision, these artists both inform and redefine contemporary Indigenous art as we presently know it.
The twenty artists featured in UnDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial are: Tony Albert, Vernon Ah Kee, Bob Burruwal, Michael Cook, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Nici Cumpston, Fiona Foley, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Gunybi Ganambarr, Julie Gough, Lindsay Harris, Jonathan Jones, Danie Mellor, Naata Nungurrayi, Maria Josette Orsto, Daniel Walbidi, Christian Thompson, Alick Tipoti, Lena Yarinkura and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.
The exhibition’s theme, ‘unDisclosed’, alludes to the spoken and the unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot. It captures the duality of the disclosed and undisclosed embedded within the works and the exhibition as a whole. Viewers are invited to unearth the layers of hidden and subtle meanings and to place them alongside those that are conspicuous.
To celebrate the opening weekend and meet some of the artists in the 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial: unDisclosed join us for a range of events on 12 and 13 May. Artists in the exhibition will provide personal insights into their work through a range of artist talks on Saturday 12 May. On Sunday 13 May a series of drop in workshops lead by artists in the exhibition have been planned. View full event details on our online calendar.
We have two great events coming up in the next month in conjunction with Von Guerard: nature revealed. On Saturday 19 May there will be a tour of the exhibition with Roger Butler, Senior Curator, Australian Prints and drawings, followed by a high tea with the Austrian Ambassador in Gandel Hall.
Then on Wednesday 30 May join us for a special book club event with author Candice Bruce who will be discussing her novel and this season’s book The Longing – a perfect companion to the exhibition. This will be followed by refreshments and a book signing.
You can now book these and all other upcoming members events online. You would have received an email earlier in the week with your username required to login. To make a booking please click here.
Be sure to check out the members offers page with new specials being added regularly. This week we have added two new offers exclusive to our members.
YipwonCrispin Howarth, Curator, Pacific Arts, talks about a recent acquisition of Papua New Guinean sculpture
The Korewori River is a remote tributary flowing from the south into the Sepik River of Papua New Guinea. Even today, this rugged area of dense bush and marshland is seldom visited by outsiders. The Yimam people who live in this region have conceptualised a most extraordinary abstraction of the human form known as Yipwon. For a month late last year a recent Pacific Arts acquisition of a Yipwon was placed temporarily on display in the Abstract Expressionism Gallery in the company work by Pollock, Rothko and Tuckson.
Yimam people Korewori River region, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
early 20th century,
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2011
This Yipwon displays a bold reduction into a two dimensional plane. While the head and feet of the sculpture are apparent, the body is, upon first sight, equally striking and puzzling. Poised upon a single leg with dipped foot, the body of the Yipwon consists of opposing curved hook shapes around a central protrusion. The nature of Yipwon spirits was described as demonic and they were constantly eager for the hunt and for war.
Yipwon sculpture were dormant objects kept propped upright at the back of the mens’ cult house and, when needed, offerings were ritually applied: small pieces of meat from game animals, herbs, lime, saliva and even blood drawn from a hunter’s or warrior’s body to encourage the Yipwon spirit to inhabit its wooden body. These applications are evident in the textured surface of the Gallery’s Yipwon.
The finesse of Yipwon places them among the greatest sculptures from Melanesia. They created a sensation among artists and collectors in the United States of America and in Europe. Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, the sculptor David Smith and especially Australian Tony Tuckson all would have encountered and found inspiration in the otherworldly qualities of New Guinean sculpture.
Masterpieces for the
Fund 2012 Yirawala
'Kundaagi - Red Plains Kangaroo' 1962
This year's Masterpieces for the Nation Fund is dedicated to the acquisition of an impressive and important bark painting by prominent Kuninjku artist Yirawala. Kundaagi – red plains kangaroo was painted in 1962 and shows the critical moment when an evil mimih spirit captures Kundaagi the kangaroo, before ceremonially killing and eating him. This powerful painting depicts the moment of an ancestral story related to traditional burial ceremonies of the Kininjku people of western Arnhem land.
The quality of this painting is exceptional and its acquisition presents the opportunity to reunite the work with its original family of Yirawala barks currently in the national art collection.
To help us in our efforts to acquire this painting, please follow
this link or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warm thanks are given to the many generous donors who have already contributed towards the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2012. All donors to the Fund will be invited to view the work at a special thank you event hosted by the Director of the National Gallery of Australia,
Ron Radford AM, in September this year.
Google art project
Explore collections from around the world in
In April the NGA, along with seven other collections in the Southern Hemisphere, joined the Google Art Project.
The initiative allows users to explore art collections from around the world. You can view works from over 151 cultural institutions in 40 countries.
The NGA has included 539 key works by 268 artists and is one of only 41 institutions where you can virtually ‘walk through’ the galleries using 'Museum mode'.
The Google Art Project allows the viewer to experience super high resolution, or 'gigapixel', images that show brushstroke details beyond what is visible to the naked eye. The key featured 'gigapixel' image from the NGA is Clifford Possum's Warlugulong 1977.
A special book club event Wednesday 30 May
Join Candice Bruce for a discussion of her novel The Longing. The book is a perfect companion to the exhibition Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, now on display in the Project and Orde Poynton Galleries.
The book follows concurrent narratives of 19th century and present day characters. Present day Curatorial Assistant, Cornelia Bremer travels to the Western District of Victoria as she negotiates loans for an NGV exhibition. Her research on the artist who is the subject of the exhibition uncovers the fascinating and devastating stories of two women involved in his life some 150 years earlier.
The book club discussion will be facilitated by Claudia Hyles. You can read Claudia's Canberra times review of The Longing here. Claudia says of the book 'It is not giving anything away to say that Eugene von Guérard's paintings are at the subject core. At least four, one at the very heart of the plot, are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. Read in conjunction with a viewing of the National Gallery of Victoria's touring exhibition Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed, art sleuths will enjoy the detective work.'
Refreshments will be served and a book signing will be held at the conclusion of the event. A special discount of 20% on The Longing is offered in the National Gallery of Australia shop.
Since its official launch in 1988, the NGA’s travelling exhibition program has seen 9 million people visit more than 117 travelling exhibitions at over 730 venues in all states and territories and, occasionally, overseas.
Congratulations also go to Margaret Marks, who won the Artonline prize pack for Fred Williams: Infinite horizons during it’s display at the National Gallery of Victoria, 7 April to 5 August 2012.
Image caption: Carl Schmidt, the nine millionth visitor to an NGA travelling exhibition and Amber Comadira-Smith during their visit to the 'Renaissance' exhibition.
ABC Radio supports
'Renaissance' ABC Radio listeners enjoy a special 'Renaissance' event at the Gallery
For the last four major summer exhibitions the National Gallery and ABC Radio have run a major national competition to bring a winner and their guest from nearly every state and territory to Canberra to enjoy a special exhibition viewing a cocktail function. This year Classic FM and the ABC Local Radio stations involved devised a range of engaging competition ideas, from writing travel brochures for Italy in the 1600’s, to poetry slams and verbal duelling and creating your own Renaissance inspired work of art.
Rowena, Miranda and Robert
ABC South East NSW
Melissa and Anthony
This year’s Renaissance event was co-hosted by Director Ron Radford, ABC Nightlife presenter Tony Delroy and ABC Classic FM presenter Emma Ayres. The lucky winners and their guests enjoyed a private tour of the exhibition followed by a cocktail function at the Italian Ambassador’s residence.
The National Gallery of Australia is very grateful to the ABC for their support of major exhibitions and the travelling exhibition program.
Win the ultimate NewActon
experience Ever wondered what is would be like to live in a
NewActon loft apartment?
Molonglo Group are proud supporters of the National Gallery of Australia and cultural partners for the National Gallery exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Remix. To celebrate the launch of the exhibition’s tour around Australia Molonglo Group are offering artonline subscribers the opportunity to win the ultimate NewActon experience!
Mantra on Northbourne is an accommodation partner of the National Gallery of Australia and proud supporters of unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial 2012.
Mantra on Northbourne is offering a special weekend accommodation package* for unDisclosed including one night’s accommodation for $209, with the option of a complimentary upgrade to a One Bedroom Apartment, and an unDisclosed exhibition catalogue. Click here for more information.
*The accommodation package is only available Friday –Sunday inclusive and only whilst UnDisclosed is on show at the National Gallery of Australia