Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Salon des refuses at SH Ervin - 10 May

My broker mate (who would like to be known as Pascale!) was keen to go check out the salon des refuses at the SH Ervin. This is marketed as the best of the rejects from the Archibald and Wynne prizes as determined by a couple of art dealers and the SH Ervin gallery director. It is meant to be prestigious in its own right but the crowds (or lack thereof when we visited) put paid to that theory. The two things I enjoyed about the salon were that they give you an actual paper ballot paper to vote for the people's choice (unlike waiting for a computer at the AGNSW) and they put prices in the catalogue. You can walk away with a rejected work if it grabs you! I think the AGNSW should institute this next year. On to the show ....

The gallery mixes the Wynne and Archibald entries (it is pretty easy to guess which is which given the portrait / landscape subject) which is a nice touch. I found it interesting to see how popular some subjects are in Archibald terms. Pat Corrigan had two portraits in the salon. Charles Waterstreet was in the salon and the Archibald. Julian Meagher tried it on with a portrait of an AGNSW curator but that wasn't the secret key to the Archibald and he was here at the Salon instead. All in all a really interesting little show. I am sure more people would go if you could actually get to this gallery (it is a hike) and if they didn't hit you for 7 bones at the door, at least it is a little cheaper than the real thing. Although one big complaint is that there are no images online - probably to make the punters rush through the doors.

Points: 3 to Robert Hannaford for his portrait of Trevor Jamieson. Really nice work but not gracing the walls of Big Lamington HQ with a $30k asking price. 2 to Fiona Lowry for her colourful landscape with a very long title. Given the content of the Wynne this year she was unlucky not to get a guernsey there. 1 point for Guy Maestri's portrait of Pat Corrigan. I thought this was the best of the Corrigans in the exhibition and at $18k compares favourably to what he had on show at Tim Olsen back in March. If I was Pat (or related to him) I would pick it up. For those interested Pascale gave his people's choice vote to Ben Smith for his portrait of Sarah Blasko - he has always been a sucker for a pretty face!

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