Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ben Quilty at grantpirrie - 30 October

First art review for big lamington and I'm not sure the Ben Quilty show at grantpirrie will get us off to the start we wanted. I was looking forward to visiting this gallery. I haven't really ventured back into Redfern since returning to Sydney after many years in the states. But as any former Bourke street boy will tell you, you can take the boy out of Bourke street but you can't take the Bourke street out of the boy. And if you understand where I am going with this please write and tell me.

Anyhoo, the space is pretty promising. All white walls, sparse former warehouse and polished concrete floors. I didn't really know what to expect as their website is blocked at the office (maybe our IT department is doing its own art criticism) but had read the blurb on the art magazine website so had an idea of what was on show. I liked a few of the evolution of captain cook paintings. It's not exactly a new idea but executed reasonably well. I had no idea what the bird cage had to do with it all and grantpirrie, despite having two gallerinas on hand on a fairly empty Saturday afternoon, didn't really assist with matters.

We moved on to their second room which had a few prints of Abi Alice. On the room sheet, grantpirrie had actually deigned to provide prices for Abi's works. The 3 year old art critic who was accompanying me took a shine to this graphical work and had soon picked two that she liked. Unfortunately she is a little too young to understand that "giclee" is a fancy art gallery term for large colour photocopy and that Daddy doesn't think they should sell for an amount that has a comma. She was satisfied with the artist post card at the front desk, which is just as well.

On our way out the gallerina's helpfully suggested we check out the kaleidoscope installation in their window around the corner. We like kaleidoscopes and installations so high tailed it around the corner to be sorely disappointed by Jess Olivieri and Hayley Forwards's collobaration. It might work in the home but the angle of attack, the smudgy window, and the fairly dodgy home made viewing tube (I cannot actually confirm whether it is a kaleidocope) resulted in five minutes of my precious weekend time lost for not much.

Points: 3 - Abi's spirals, 2 - Ben's painting, Lack of information at the gallery - 1.

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