Anyhoo, the exhibitions. First stop was Nude at the Art Gallery of NSW (and stop sniggering up the back). That was okay. Actually, I kinda loved it, the first few rooms anyway because it had a few nice pieces from the Tate (it was all from the Tate) , including a few I confused myself as having seen recently before remembering, oh yeah, back in ’15, in situ. Love the lush high Victoriana. I know it’s uncool, but I can’t help myself. I love a fine bit of vaguely homoerotic classicism on a summer’s day. I love a Fred Leighton (Have you seen his house? If that’s the house, imagine what the parties must have been like?).
Then we moved onto Modernism, and that was pretty cool, too (though you have to ignore the cultural misappropriation of all that African and Islander imagery). Abstraction, not so much. Here, women are just reduced to the Republican ideal of a woman: all fanny and no head (see also that Chris Pine photo, tsk).
Finally got to see The Kiss, and that was a bit meh, mainly because they had it positioned wrong and the proportions were all off. And I did snigger, at the David Hockney, which was such a bad look, because I do really love them, but the line drawings of the blond and the brunette in bed with their 1966 aesthetic was so much like a certain tumblr feed o’mine I couldn’t help myself, dammit. So much like that series of Academy drawings I can’t even.
Also got to see some OMFG surviving examples of Turner’s hardcore hand drawn porn. Oh, to have seen Ruskin, the world’s greatest prude, discovering his worshipped hero’s secret smut stash of shame, oh, to have seen his little face, heh heh heh.
The modern stuff was meh meh meh, though I did finally see a Freud I didn’t loathe, and they had Bacon.
Also popped in to Manifesto again (with all the angry Cates), and then a small room of Japanese art, containing a wall of blinking numbers by Tatsuo Miyajima, which had me entranced.
So it was over to the MCA for the Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition, which was quite wonderful. Who knew you could make numbers so pretty, or mean so much, or nothing. Loved the goldfish pond one, and the rooms of blue and red. The train set with the coal was upsetting though.( more: The Canberra Exhibition Expedition )