The Triumph of Modernism

Art Life , Exhibitions Apr 13, 2015 No Comments

From Sharne Wolff

Drawn mostly from the collection of Victoria’s Besen family’s privately funded – but publicly owned – Museum as well as their private collection, The Triumph of Modernism includes over 50 works from 26 represented artists. Curator Edmund Capon notes in the catalogue that the exhibition sets out to explore two main themes: “firstly the triumph of modernism in Australian art and, secondly, the particular qualities and strengths ?of the TarraWarra Museum of Art collection.”


For fans of modern art, this “personal panorama” of work is not to be missed. While the earliest work created is Ian Fairweather’s The New Baby from 1935, the show focuses on the post World War II period, reflecting how artists depicted Australia in a period of dramatic change and rapid growth. Highlights include Sidney Nolan’s sombre After Glenrowan siege no. 2 1956, John Brack’s engrossing Double Nude II 1982–83, and Jeffrey Smart’s The Dome 1977 – which might have been painted yesterday. Female artists are not (completely) left behind with Joy Hester’s very modern Love 1949 and, from more recent times, the absorbing Flatland tennis club figure (a–d) 2006 by Joanna Lamb, making a deserved appearance. Much of the art in this show has not been seen in Sydney for some time.

Artists featured are: Howard Arkley, George Baldessin, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, John Brack, William Delafield Cook, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Ian Fairweather, Joy Hester, Dale Hickey, Roger Kemp, Joanna Lamb, Godfrey Miller, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen, John Perceval, Jeffrey Smart, Tim Storrier, Edwin Tanner, Imants Tillers, Aida Tomescu, Tony Tuckson, Brett Whiteley, Fred Williams, William Wright.

Until May 24
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea
Pic: John Olsen Salute to Cerberus 1965, oil on plywood,?185 x 244.5 cm?. Gift of Eva Besen AO and Marc Besen AO 2001.

Sharne Wolff

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