Opening speech by Doug Hall AM for the Collectors’ Exhibition

“Exhibitions like this with its historical and scholarly underpinnings are really important … to shape our understanding of what’s happening now and reflect on what has been important.”

Doug Hall AM opening LDFA Collectors' Exhibition 2017

Doug Hall AM officially opened the Collectors’ Exhibition at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art on Saturday 3rd June 2017, claiming the panoramic exhibition as a serious and scholarly presentation of Australian art and musing that Lauraine Diggins is essentially the only gallerist and dealer looking at and handling Australian art history, in particular at a time when this has never been more critical.

With artworks from Australian colonial artists through to contemporary and indigenous artists, the exhibition encourages the viewer to consider the selection of works in the context of Australian art history, with the accompanying catalogue essays providing illuminating text by revered scholars in their fields.

Hall provided a snapshot of artworks in the exhibition of importance to Australian art history including:

Eugene VON GUERARD‘s Evening After a Storm Near the Island of St Paul’s (1854), one of only four marine painters by this artist “who is truly a romantic classicist with a preoccupation with science and history.”

Fred WILLIAMS, “a true 20th century Australian genius of painting.”  “The reach of his art historical imagination, his later interest in Japan and China and the verticality of all these marks, the single beautiful calligraphic gestures, the flatness of the New York School the breadth of his art historical interests and instinctive response to the landscape” can be seen in the group of paintings and gouaches included in the exhibition.

John OLSEN‘s Landscape (1958) – “such a strong painting and such a profound precursor to the You Beaut pictures …. “it is an international painting in 1958 and an extraordinary work.”

James CANT The Dead Girl a painting marked by a “brutal, deep, romantic, dark and brooding honesty.”

Clarice BECEKTT who “almost whispers her pictures into existence” as seen in the atmospheric Winter Morning, Beaumaris (c.1927-31).

Russell DRYSDALE‘s Rain at Cattle Creek (1967) –  “beautifully withheld, perfectly confident, great poise – there is no bombast but [the portrait] is not timid either.”

Doug Hall AM is the former Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art and was Australian Commissioner for the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011.

A video of Doug Hall’s opening speech can be viewed here.

The exhibition is on show until 29 July and can be viewed on our site here and the catalogue can be downloaded here.

Contact the Gallery for any further details.