Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Self-Portrait (The Naked-Face)

Today is Tuesday and after a lovely morning tea (at Seven Seeds) and scrumptious lunch (at Animal Orchestra) me and another intrepid explorer braved the baking heat to go to the NGV. The National Gallery of Victoria is a favourite place of mine, behind the rather bland and imposing blue stone facade is an incredible diversity and a wonderful place in which to escape. Our noble expedition was thwarted by the Gallery being closed of all things. Pooh.

Side note: Dear New State Government, perhaps we could have our public galleries open every day of the week? That would be nice!

Anyway as a result of this we ended up at the NGV Australia (Ian Potter) in Fed Square to see 'The Naked Face' Exhibition of Self-Portraits.

Apart from being a little confusingly curated it was fabulous. Why is there no nice flow to some of these spaces? Do you cross over here? Double back? It is infuriating and totally unnecessary. Having said that there was a very cool bit relating to Narcissus which was in a tunnel of mirrors, so thought had gone into the presentation at some point! It drew the viewer right into the work.

In regards to the works there was such incredible variety and the artist when turned on his/herself can produce truly formidable insights. We were treated to sketches; to painting; great photos; to sculpture; to all sorts of media - even a Chanel suit. Some were delightful and some were scary and some were wise and some were challenging you as you observed them.

Grayson Perry's 'Map of an Englishman' in particular was inspired and absorbing. We spent a good 10 minutes in front of it. Also there were some little etchings courtesy of Rembrandt whose size and fragility belied the presence of the great man

So head on down and check it out! Except not on Mondays as the Ian Potter won't be open.

Here is a link to the exhibition page: NGV What's On