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M/C Reviews: 'style'

Style is ephemeral but eternal; style is of the essence, of inspiration, of change and so it captures, epitomises and iconicises moments, temporally and spatially. From arts to architecture, design to fashion changing styles are the evidence of constant shifts and progress. This section on style seeks to explore past trends, present styles and highlight emerging phenomena in our everyday lives.

So, explore with us from the sensuality of material cultures in visual displays (jewellery, art, sculptures etc.), to reviews (history, political cartoons, photography, fashion shows), from the latest shopping experiences to designs (architectural, graphic, interior, fashion) and emerging artisans to engaging market spaces. Come experience and be enticed by the diversity of styles. Contributions welcome - the more the merrier.



Art Exhibition: American Impressionism & Realism

american_impressionismReviewed by Nikita Vanderbyl


The Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and its younger counterpart the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) appear unstoppable with their crowd-pleasing exhibitions, and American Impressionism and Realism, A Landmark Exhibition from the Met is certainly no exception. This could be among the gallery’s most ambitious projects yet. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s loan of one hundred paintings is made possible by renovations taking place on the American Wing, and is unlikely to be repeated. 


Exhibition: It’s the thought…and so much more

its_the_thought_that_countsReviewed by Evie Franzidis


It’s not often that you see an exhibition in Brisbane that isn’t paintings- or drawings-based. Most commercial galleries only represent artists who work in these media. With the impending major American Impressionist exhibition at GoMA, and the impressive Ben Quilty show currently on at The University of Queensland Art Museum, it’s easy to forget all about sculpture or mixed media works. However, the Gabriella Szablewska and Brent Wilson exhibition it’s the thought that counts…, currently on at Flipbook Gallery, proves that oil and canvas aren’t always necessary to create a good show. While, admittedly, there are a couple of works on canvas, primarily Szablewska and Wilson’s artworks are composed of odd and unusual materials: macaroni, French fries, potatoes (and, just when you thought it was all food), artificial flowers, skate boards, crochet, and even toilet doors.


Art: Tradition and change in The China Project

china_projectReviewed by Nikita

A staggering show, heralded as possibly the best collection of contemporary Chinese art in Australia, The China Project opened 28 March at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), South Brisbane. The project comprises three exhibitions showcasing thirty years of artistic practice, featuring over fifty artists working in a diverse range of traditional and new media. The show is a great achievement, and gives audiences a never before seen glimpse of Chinese history and the evolution of artistic expression after the Cultural Revolution. In The China Project, we see artists working somewhere between tradition and their experiences of a rapidly-changing, consumer-driven world.


Exhibition: Gendered Abstractions

Reviewed by Evie Franzidis

Works by two of Australia’s most successful and prolific abstract painters, Lesley Dumbrell and Sydney Ball, are on show at the newly opened George Petelin Contemporary Art Project Space in the TCB Arcade, Fortitude Valley. Entitled Gendered Abstractions, the show juxtaposes Dumbrell’s large, grid-filled canvases with Ball’s striking compositions, which focus on shape and colour. The two artists have both dominated colour field painting in Australia for many years, and have enjoyed success both locally and internationally.


Visual Arts: Exhibits at the QUT Art Museum - Many-Splendoured Things



Reviewed by Jarryd Luke

The QUT Art Museum has a feast of exhibitions on show at the moment. Abstract Earth presents the aerial photography of Richard Woldendorp, a Dutch-born artist who arrived in Western Australia in 1951. He originally studied painting, so when he bought his first camera in 1955, he looked through it with the eye of an artist. As a result, Woldendorp's photographs often resemble abstract paintings, filled with colours, patterns, shapes and shades. Most of his landscapes are from Queensland and Western Australia, featuring landmarks such as Lake Moore, Lake Macleod and Curtis Island.


Visual Arts: The Art of Looking Up - Optimism

Optimism_1.jpgReviewed by Jarryd

Tom Moore, one of the artists in GoMA's latest exhibition Optimism, said his aim was 'to surprise and delight a varied audience, to defy gravity and to melt the coldest heart.' This could easily be the slogan for the entire exhibition, which presents a strange and beautiful collection of inspiring artwork. GoMA's previous exhibitions on Andy Warhol and Picasso were hugely successful, and Optimism, which shifts the focus to Australian artists, is a worthy successor, featuring new work by over sixty emerging and senior Australian artists, and incorporating a wide range of media such as sculpture, video-art and large-scale installations. Its many wonders include mirror-mazes, jellyfish-chandeliers and hamburger-spaceships.


Visual Arts: Someone’s Universe: The Art of Eugene Carchesio & Namatjira to Now

Carchesio_1.jpgReviewed by Jarryd Luke

Someone's Universe: The Art of Eugene Carchesio is showing at the Queensland Art Gallery until 1 February 2009.

Namatjira to Now is showing until 15 February 2009.

Eugene Carchesio chooses to paint clouds, dead leaves and scrunched-up paper instead of landscapes, using watercolour instead of acrylic, and he makes sculptures out of matchboxes, not marble. His universe is intricately constructed out of the modest materials of everyday life. Empire State Emptiness (1990), for example, is a carefully arranged collection of cans, bottles and blocks of wood.


Visual Arts: Under the Influence (Art and Music)

Under_the_Influence.jpgReviewed by Jarryd Luke

Showing at the QUT Art Museum from 11 September to 16 November 2008

Anyone who’s bought an album because they liked a videoclip or cover has been affected by the relationship between art and music. The purity and emotional power of music is an inspiration not only for visual artists but for practitioners of every art form. Woody Allen once said the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony made life worth living, and Kurt Vonnegut wrote:

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music.


Visual Arts: Sidney Nolan: A New Perspective

Nolan_1.jpgReviewed by Jarryd Luke

Showing at the Queensland Art Gallery from 6 June to 28 September 2008

A patron once asked Sidney Nolan why he was charging so much for a painting that only took him a day to paint. Nolan replied: “I’ve been thinking about that painting for 20 years!”

Sidney Nolan: A New Retrospective shows the results of an entire lifetime spent thinking about paintings. Nolan once said: “Art was always to me a means of getting in contact with another world… you would never see that other world and were never told about it. But art seemed to be always kind of touching it.” Nolan obviously felt this very deeply: he never settled on a single technique. Instead, he shifted between a wide range of styles throughout his life, continuously searching for a new way to get closer to his “other world”. Because of his frequent experimentation with mood, subject matter and materials, Nolan's paintings are wildly unpredictable.


Visual Arts: Touch Me So I Know I Exist

Touch_Me.jpgBy Janice Loreck

Steven Morgana’s new installation at Perth's Breadbox Gallery, Touch Me So I Know I Exist, is at risk of suffering a fate common to artworks with significant theoretical underpinnings. Even with critical terms, technical jargon or an arts history major, patrons of an installation might fall into a familiar habit; that of treating the work as an aggrandised Rorschach inkblot test. It is far easier to talk about how a work “makes one feel” than exert effort conducting hermeneutic work. The upshot, of course, is that the viewer learns more about his or her own psychological state than the work itself.


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