Sunday, September 23, 2007

More galleries

I've managed to squeeze in quite a few gallery visits in the last week or so. Here's a quick round-up of what I've been to.

Villian is the first place I visited during the week. Villian is another shop style gallery, similar to 696 in a way. They have some art but also supplement their range with clothing, magazines and books. It's a great store, and their current Munny exhibition of customised toys is well worth a look.

I wanted to check out a few rental spaces this, so I went to the Red Gallery in North Fitzroy, which was running an exhibition for students at Ballarat University. Nothing there really grabbed me, but it's a good exhibition space they have there. I guess some student exhibitions are potentially going to be a little hit and miss.

69 Smith Street was a gallery that Mark recommended I take a look at, as it's an artist run gallery that's also rental space. Mark's opinion was that galleries like this struggle to keep on putting on good exhibition, and will put anything on just to keep their calendar filled. Although their current exhibition, Shift, wasn't too bad.

While in Smith St I checked out the exquisite palette at St Luke's, the art supplies store. This a a great little exhibition of art painted onto wooden palettes. There's some fantastic pieces here, and exhibitions like these, focussing on a simple idea, are always going to have a strong appeal with the masses. From what i hear, the opening of this was a huge success - there seems to be a lot of red dots on the art list, too.

In the city I visited the Westspace gallery, which was running 3 small exhibitions. also checked out the Paper Shadow gallery on Franklin St in the city, to see the Doze Green exhibition. This is a new gallery, which I liked.

The clandestine alleyway entry of galleries like Paper Shadow has a strong appeal to me. I get a real enjoyment out of the discovery of a place like this. I guess I'm like this with a lot of things. Shops, restaurants, even music that is off the beaten track is appealing to me.

The great thing about Melbourne is that there is so much art to see even when you're not in an actual gallery. I've been there before, but i went back and took a look at the citylights project, which I just love. But even just the back streets in the city has some very cool art. I could wander around for hours.

I've been writing this blog for almost a month now, and in that time have seen a fair smattering of galleries. Plenty more to see, but I'm starting to get a feel for what I'd like to do myself. In the next week I'll be sharing a few ideas with you, and would love your feedback. Stay tuned.


Jason said...

Oh dear ... you visited Westspace and all you had to say was "was running 3 small exhibitions" ?!
Anna-Maria O'Keeffe piece in the small room was an amazing piece of skilled based sculpture, far removed from the 'piles of junk' aesthetic so common nowadays.

you seem to be more attracted to the more commercial graphic design type of work ... you really should keep looking at more high art

Ben Rowe said...

Harsh but fair fair Jason :)

Actually, I loved the Anna-Maria O'Keeffe piece. There's a lot of sculpture that I find difficult to relate to - this piece wasn't one of them. I thought it was great.

The thing is though, I'm no expert as an art critic, so don't even know where to begin. This was also a fairly long poat, so I kept reference to each gallery fairly brief.

I'll be making a visit to Albert St this week, so don't worry - I'm keeping up my promise. I've also visited Dianne Tanzer this morning too. Great to see each stage of Ash Keating's 'parched' side by side.

Dan said...

Jason: yeh i loved Anna's piece as well, in fact i think that whole show of 3 works were the best i've seen at Westspace in a while, even the video work was not bad (i especially liked the spot light through the timber panels as you we turning roung the corner and entering the space)

Ben: Yeh it can be difficult to say something about art, but most of the time, just say what exactly you feel about it, theory is overated! .. oh and read more reviews in the papers, there are snippets in the age every friday and saturday, or see what the reviewers in Art magazines (art + Australia etc) have to say.

Its not a bad thing to appreciate graphic design type work, but i guess you need to look at fine artist who do such work (clean lines and bold solid forms)such as Brent Harris and Jeffrey Smart

Ben Rowe said...

Thanks for the links Dan. I have come accross Jeffrey Smarts' work before - FANTASTIC stuff.

This is the type of Fine art that I really enjoy. I guess that a lot of the design / illustration work that I've been finding is more available on the web, which is why I've been seeing a lot of it. But I'll definitely keep my eye out for more artists like Smart.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ben and Jason,
I was searching from some material about my past shows and came across your blogg.
its a while ago now that you commented on my work but it is great to get some feed back even a while after the event.
Anna-Maria O'Keeffe