The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde

ART │REVIEW

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reunites some unparalleled holdings of modern art, writes Sue Smith

May 21, 2011 ─ September 6, 2011: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Pablo Picasso: Portrait of Gertrude Stein 1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYAMERICAN expatriates in bohemian Paris when the 20th century was young, the Steins – writer Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael’s wife, Sarah – were among the first to recognise the talents of avant-garde painters like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.  Through their friendship and patronage, they helped spark an artistic revolution. 

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibition has drawn on collections from around the world to reunite the Steins’ unparalleled collections of modern art, bringing together, for the first time in a generation, some 60 works by Matisse, 40 by Picasso and another 100 by Bonnard, Cézanne, Gris, Picabia and Renoir, all once owned by various Steins.

Jack Thompson acts to save Aboriginal Rock Art

ABORIGINAL ROCK ART - PRESERVATION CALL

ABORIGINAL | ART | NEWS

Professor Paul Tacon and actor Jack ThompsonAUSTRALIA'S priceless Aboriginal rock art sites may be decimated within the next fifty years.

That is the view of Griffith University's first Chair of the Aboriginal Rock Art Research Centre, Professor Paul Tacon, who is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on the subject.

Professor Tacon and passionate supporter, Australian actor Jack Thompson, launched the campaign "Protect Australia's Spirit" in Sydney on 31 May 2011.

The Australian actor first saw Aboriginal rock carvings as a child in Bondi:  "I said, 'Holy mackerel, look at that'," said Thompson of his first experience of one of the world's oldest art forms.

Large naturalistic animals: Kakadu National ParkProf Tacon is seeking support and funding for a joint initiative of Griffith University, the Australian National University and the University of WA to document and shield the estimated 100,000 rock art sites around Australia.  The project would initially identify one hundred of the most significant rock art sites and aims to digitally archive and categorise sites to  develop strategies for rock art site management and preservation.

Aboriginal Rock Art Tours

Grafico Topico's travel writer Monsieur Flaneur dons his akubra hat and explores Australian Aboriginal Rock Art.

Stand up for the Burrup group photo at the LouvreMES AMIS, Flaneur's appetite for Australian Aboriginal art began quite by chance when he stumbled across this curieux group (pictured left) in his very own ville in 2008.

Who were these so intriguingly folkloric-costumed personnes, he wondered, so eagerly ready to man the barricades ... pour qui, one wondered?

After a tentative inquiry, all was revealed: the "Stand up for the Burrup", it appears, is an ongoing campaign of the "Friends of Australian Rock Art" to protect the outstanding 30,000 year old rock art in Western Australia which one is told houses 500,000 individual rock art works and engravings. (Non! Incroyable!)

William Robinson: The Transfigured Landscape

Creation Landscape: Man and the spheres. Art Gallery of NSW collection

WILLIAM ROBINSON│ART│REVIEW

Brisbane’s QUT Art Museum surveys a consummate Australian landscapist, writes Sue Smith

William Robinson: The Transfigured Landscape
April 17, 2011 ─ August 14, 2011
QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia
www.artmuseum.qut.edu.au

Rainforest and romantic time travel...

Living in the country everything moves - the seasons, the clouds, nothing is set.
There are things all around you and you are in it. Everything is constantly moving.… You begin to realise that you are in a landscape that is really the crust of the earth. It is air and ground.  We’re all just spinning through space.  There is something about the painting that is indefinite, not solid. We don’t really have an orientation in this infinity. … You begin to question what time is.  Time isn’t something that is just measured on a clock.  Time can also be a mind thing - you can be a time-traveller with your mind in a painting.
William Robinson

Half a dozen reasons..to visit the USA Midwest

Grafico Topico’s gallivanting Gaul, Monsieur Flaneur, extols a summer excursion to the US Midwest’s leading metropolises: Chicago, Saint Louis and Kansas City, all within easy reach of each other by plane, train or motor bus. Well worth a visit, he enthuses, they have superb culture, parks and gardens, design, fashion and food. In short, there’s so much more to the central heart of America than tornadoes, Dorothy and Toto and Judy Garland …

TASTE│CHICAGO

Taste of Chicago 2009America’s second city, Chicago, is très riche in museums, fabulous skyscrapers, music, fashion, comedy, and, Flaneur would venture, just about anything else your heart would desire in a world metropolis.

But eating is one of the singular adventures of travel and this fascinating place has an equally remarkable annual summer food festival in the park which has attracted Americans for some years: “Taste of Chicago”, June 24 to July 3, 2011, Grant Park, Michigan Avenue and Congress Drive. www.tasteofchicago.us

There is no entry charge to the 10-day fete and participating restaurants offer a tremenous choice of cuisine, conveniently in one place, from ethnic and exotic styles to Chicago specialities. For the non-American visitor, the festival is also a piquant habitat in which to observe the customs, dress and dialect, and perhaps to engage in stimulating discourse with, a great throng of Chicagoans.

This year, owing to the national recession, four of the city’s annual lakefront music festivals will be incorporated into Taste of Chicago (rather than running as stand-alone events), adding even more interest to the event. Details of what is described as a family-oriented entertainment program will be available from late March at: www.chicagoparkdistrict.com

Monet, the constant gardener

BOOKS │CDs │DVDs

The Foundation Claude Monet: Monet's house and gardenGrafico Topico finds everything blooming beautiful at Giverny … but whether you go to France or not, a bouquet of books and a video / DVD offers an enjoyable armchair tour

 

 

THE MOST visited garden of its size in the Western world is claimed to be Claude Monet’s garden, with house and studios, at Giverny, 50 km north from Paris off the A13 motorway. Lovingly restored in 1980, the house and garden, known as the Fondation Claude Monet now receive half a million visitors a year. (www.fondation-monet.com. Open Apr-Oct daily)

The Magic of Monet's Garden by Derek Fell

A century earlier, in 1883, when Monet settled at the age of 43 with his family at Giverny, he was a successful exhibiting artist and, never one to horde his money, spent his newfound wealth mostly on his garden, says Derek Fell in The Magic of Monet’s garden (David Bateman).

At first Monet enlisted the help of his children to weed and water, but soon he employed a head gardener and up to eight assistant gardeners. He was no dilettente, however, and (at least in the early years) was very practical and hands-on, often digging the ground himself: the art critic Octave Mirbeau described Monet in his shirt sleeves, suntanned and happy, “his arms black with compost.”

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