Culture Buff

Lloyd Rees Solitude 1978

4 April 2020

9:00 AM

4 April 2020

9:00 AM

‘How much of our village do we burn to contain this?’. That was the chilling headline of an article in the Australian. Well, at the rate we’re going, much of the major performing arts will be singed and the visual arts as well. Since we can’t go out to anything, we take pleasure where we can. That includes the international exchange of an amazing number of funny texts and videos; most of them unpublishable black humour.

On the other hand, there are a number of high quality visual arts sites aimed at filling the void left by closed art museums. Apollo, stablemate of this magazine, rewards an online visit. Back home, Philip Bacon Galleries’ latest sale catalogue, appropriately titled Important Australian Paintings, is a great source of pleasure. Currently on exhibition by appointment only (until 24 April), the catalogue can be viewed online at www.philipbacongalleries.com.au.

The striking cover picture by Jeffrey Smart : The bus depot (Study for ‘Portrait of David Malouf’) from1979 has impeccable provenance. There are two other Smarts among the alluring collection of 46 paintings. Two Margaret Olleys, two Wimmera Arthur Boyds, a lovely Roy de Maistre from 1932, landscapes by Hilda Rix Nicholas (c.1928) and E. Phillips Fox (c.1913). The list is exceptionally distinguished. A personal favourite is a landscape by Lloyd Rees : Solitude; its provenance includes Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. There is no reason to be bored.

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