We were delighted to be involved with UBS Wealth Management in a recent presentation at the National Gallery of Victoria, wonderfully organised by André Becker, Associate Director UBS Wealth Management Melbourne.
Zoe Hart, Head of UBS Wealth Planning, presented tax and superannuation strategies for art and collectables, while we explained how to buy art when re-sale value is important to your art purchases.
These presentations were followed up by art gallery curator Kelly Gellatly’s talk and tour through the UBS show “An Incomplete World”. It is on view until 6 January 2008 at the NGV International – and a great opportunity to experience works by international art masters such as Damien Hirst, Lucian Freud, Gerhard Richter, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha and many more, and both painting and photography.
25 Years of National Gallery of Australia and the Inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial
Last Saturday saw the celebration of 25 years of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra – quite a party and not just art, but also bands playing all over the gallery, comedians and a feast of traditional dance.
Under Ron Radford, the NGA is heading in a great direction. With announcements of lots of new gallery space and a big effort to show more works, the National Gallery is entering an exciting new phase. The gallery actually holds over 100,000 works, but can show only 1% at any one time at present. So we can all look forward to see more in the future.
To coincide with the 25-year celebrations, the Gallery launched the National Indigenous Art Triennial. The exhibition will go from Canberra to Adelaide and Perth and then overseas. It is a commendable initiative and an opportunity to showcase a fantastic range of contemporary aboriginal art. We found the show altogether exciting, challenging and superb in its depth, diversity and quality, with a healthy dose of politics thrown in.
This could help to redefine aboriginal art in the contemporary market – “not just dot paintings”. Let’s hope that someone will be brave enough to review this exhibition with a view to its artistic merits. This is actually something sadly lacking with Aboriginal art: art journalists willing to write critically about the works for the mainstream press. Maybe this is the show to break the mould.
Portraits by John Brack
Also on in Canberra until 18th November is this John Brack show at the National Portrait Gallery. It is a lovely exhibition and, although you may not recognise many of the faces in these portraits, we see Brack’s most distinctive style and technique revealed beautifully from his earliest sketches to his latest paintings.
On view amongst many others are intimate early and late portraits of his wife Helen and his daughters. A stunning, although untypical portrait of fellow artist Fred Williams dominates for us. However, other interesting works include a painting of art dealer Tab Purves and an early self-portrait titled “The Shaver”.
A Bridge under the Bed
At an auction preview recently, we were admiring a rare copy of a poster by Douglas Annand and Arthur Whitmore announcing the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. Our friend we had invited along calmly announced that she had one “rolled up under the bed”. Her mother had given it to her along with another poster advertising the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fund, illustrated by William Dobell.
We couldn’t wait to see her Bridge poster and were delighted to find it in reasonable condition. However, the poster needed some conservation work to clean and flatten it, and then sympathetic framing to bring it to its full glory. The last Sydney Harbour Bridge to come on the market sold for $ 20,400 at Deutscher + Hackett Fine Art Auctions, and our friend’s work would have to be valued accordingly.
Our friend was also concerned to find an appreciative home for the Churchill poster. We contacted the National Library of Australia, which was very happy to accept this kind donation. So keep looking, you never know what you might find under the bed!