Monday, April 23, 2012

'Modern Women'

One of my very favourite things to do is to visit art galleries. I believe it was probably the main reason I decided to do a bachelor of fine arts. Yesterday we viewed the current exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery, 'Modern Women: Daughters and Lovers 1850 - 1918.' The beautiful drawings in the exhibition were sourced from the Musee De Orsay, Paris, from a collection of over four thousand works. Some of the pieces, framed in simple blonde frames, are being exhibited for the first time. The works were beautifully displayed and hung in rooms according to their themes, from mothers and children, with depictions of breastfeeding, to women working on the farm. From performers, to women of the night. Featuring the work of artists such as Degas, Renoir, Manet and Cassatt, who are all linked by friendship or aesthetics, the pieces range from simple line drawings to intensely worked pastels. Drawing at this time was undertaking a radical reinvention and being recognised as art unto its self, and not merely as preparation for painting, making it a thoroughly modern way to work. 

I particularly loved the way dress came in to play across the works. Whether it be fur collars, silk or shop girls dresses cinched at the waist, much of the clothing featured in the drawings was also thoroughly modern at the time and really places the pieces in their period for modern observers. I'm also drawn to interiors from the period. The stuffed floral couches, elaborate carpets and lush drapes are always a joy for me.

While Emerson and I browsed the exhibition with my sister and her husband, Cohen and Dave were making a bird and nest as a part of the Fiona Hall 'Fly Away Home' interactive exhibit at the Gallery Of Modern Art. Dave assured me that he and Cohen enjoyed this activity so much I should take the little man back and do it with him myself. I think I shall indeed.

So, if you are in Brisbane, I can recommend a trip to either gallery or both.
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