John Peter Russell documentary screening Tuesday 30 October

In conjunction with the current exhibition of John Peter Russell at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a documentary about this fascinating artist will be screened on ABC television Tuesday 30th October at 9.30pm. Australia’s Lost Impressionist examines the relationships and influence of John Peter Russell within the French avant-garde in the late 1880s.

Part of the French avant-garde of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Russell was a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Rodin, taught impressionist colour theory to Henri Matisse and dined with Claude Monet. Yet history has largely forgotten Russell, who was a key member of this ground-breaking group of artists during one of the most exhilarating periods in art history.

For further details about the AGNSW exhibition which is showing until 11 November please click here.

For details about the documentary please click here  and for a preview click here.

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

An exhibition featuring the work of Australian indigenous women is currently on show at The Phililps Collection in Washington, USA. The nine artists are from a variety of areas highlighting a diversity of artistic practices and include Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu, and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. Angelina Ngal from Utopia is sometimes incorrectly known by her late husband’s surname.

“In recent years, women have been at the forefront of contemporary Aboriginal Australian art. The innovative pictorial and conceptual tapestries included in Marking the Infinite demonstrate why. Through a weave of intimate marks, the nine artists map their knowledge of sacred Country, but such is the generous expansiveness of their works that they are not curtailed by these bounds. It is energising to think that women from one of the world’s oldest cultures, working in remote parts of Australia, are making some of the most globally relevant art today.”     Sally Grant, Australian Book Review, 28 August 2018

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia is on display until 9 September.

To view further details please click here

and to read the review by Sally Grant published in the Australian Book Review please click here

Baroque or Rococo?

Tiepolo Banquet of Cleopatra NGV collection
Giambattista Tiepolo Banquet of Cleopatra 1743-44 oil on canvas 250.3 x 357 cm
Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne

Whilst there are similarities between these linked art movements there are a number of distinctions between Baroque and Rococo style.

A succinct summary of each is helpfully explained by an article recently published by INVALUABLE, giving a definition of each art period and listing some of the key players.

Learn more about the key differences between Baroque and Rococo art by reading here

Constance Stokes : greatest draughtsman

Bella d’Abrera, granddaughter of Constance Stokes was a recent guest on the Sky News program Outsiders (Monday 25th June) where she spoke about the importance of Stokes’ rigorous academic training and the impact of travelling and seeing important artworks in London and Paris and how that shaped her art.

“She was able to use one line to capture the solidity and weight of the figure and this was entirely based on her training, really rigorous training as a younger artist and that western tradition.”

218044 Stokes female nude
Constance Stokes 1906 – 1991 (Female Nude) 1964 ink on paper 24 x 33.5 cm

“Stokes was once mentioned in the same breath as Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, as a great Australian artist. She exhibited during the 30s, 40s, 50s and then again after the war in the 60s and 70s.”

“In London in the 1930s, she directly inherited that Renaissance idea of looking at the form.”

“Sir Kenneth Clark, who came to Australia in the 1940s and he met all the artists and he saw her work and he said, Constance Stokes is one of the world’s greatest draughtsman.”

“…she came back to Australia and she became the most sought after portraitist in Victoria at the time, so she had people queueing to get their portraits done by her…”

For an edited transcript please click here or to listen to the podcast click here

Click here to view artworks by CONSTANCE STOKES available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art

Constance Stokes The Mime Tribute to Marcel 1981
Constance Stokes The Mime Tribute to Marcel 1981

Chinese and Indigenous Australians: an artistic relationship

Zhou Xiaoping Our Country 2017 ink, oil on rice paper laid down on canvas 130 x 95 cm

Eugene Yang reports in the ABC news that this year marks 200 years since the first arrival of Chinese migrants to Australia in an article exploring the connections between Chinese and Indigenous Australians – including the work of Zhou Xiaoping and his collaborations with indigenous artists over the past thirty years, the focus of our exhibition earlier this year. Yang reports on the tendency towards wariness rather than celebration of cross-cultural experiences, something with which Zhou is familiar:

“From the 1990s to today, he has faced suspicion from white Australians claiming his work is exploitative of Aboriginal art, yet does not recall receiving any such criticism from Aboriginal people.

According to The Australian, Zhou was defended by Marcia Langton, Chair of Indigenous Studies at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Langton labelled this criticism as the result of problematic conceptions of Aboriginal people lacking autonomy and needing white protectors.”

To read the article Chinese and Indigenous Australians share a long, ‘untold history’, that’s been captured through art (Eugene Yang, ABC News, Sat 23 June 2018 ) please click here

Please click here to view the exhibition Zhou Xiaoping: The Cross-Cultural Influences of Chinese and Indigenous Art where you can also view the exhibition opening by The Hon Senator Mitch Fifield and hear Zhou Xiaoping speak about his art.

Father and Son 2008
Zhou Xiaoping Father and Son 2008 synthetic polymer on canvas 165 x 230 cm

An opportunity to view : Andrew Sayers Room with a View

Canberra Museum and Art Gallery are celebrating 20 years of collecting visual art with an exhibition showing until 17 June 2018, featuring Room with a View by Andrew Sayers from the CMAG collection which curator Deborah Clark describes as “like haiku” with its simplicity of line and form capturing a sense of light, space and atmosphere through the depiction of Sayers’ favourite subject, the landscape. We welcome you to read the article from the Weekend Australian focussing on Andrew’s gouaches and to view the current works available at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art by selecting Andrew Sayers from the artist list on our site.

Andrew Sayers The Australian Review April 2018
Andrew Sayers The Australian Review April 2018

Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod – A Peabody Essex Museum Collection piece

The outstanding works by ceramicist Stephen Bowers continue to gain the interest by international collections. Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod is a recent acquisition by the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA.

Ming Meets Morris Meets Macropod 2018 jigger jolley, white earthenware, underglaze color, clear glaze, on-glaze, ‘distressed’  burnished antique gold, 2.5 x 35.7 cm.

Against a back ground of lobed reserves, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo ( Cacatua galleria) perches, holding in its beak a length of blue twisted string from which the bird is dangling a decorative bow arrangement The cockatoo references classic natural history (bird) illustration, being derived from, and paying homage to, the work of W T Cooper . The decorative yellow bow is sourced from Meyer’s Hand book of Ornament.

The reserve above the bird’s raised crest is filled with Honeysuckle, a wallpaper design first registered by William Morris in 1883. The bird perches on another reserve depicting a fragment of fabric design (also called Honeysuckle) by William Morris 1874 (sample in the Birmingham Museum). Behind the chest of the cockatoo is a reserve decorated with Eucalyptus corymbosa (Bloodwood) from botanical illustrations in A Research on The Eucalyptus and their Essential Oils by Richard T Baker and Henry G Smith, Technological Museum of New South Wales, Sydney 1920.

Finally, the large lobed circular fragment to the left of the cockatoo comprises a blue and white paneled border with elements in a central circular in-fill. The border and foliage details are based closely on Ming kraakwares held in the collection of the PEM Salem, in particular a porcelain Charger, 1573 – 1619, 3.3 ins (8.4 cms) X 20.7 ins (52.6 cms) dia. Museum purchase 1994. E84059. The paneled sections of the outer border contain motifs typical of the period including auspicious Buddhist regalia and symbols. The central circular reserve incorporates a rendering of the 1773 George Stubb’s Kangaroo – the first clear depiction of this Australian marsupial macropod.

For details about available works by Stephen Bowers, please view our stockroom or contact the Gallery.

 

Harold Mitchell’s article The Age Friday 12 August

Those at the opening of our Collectors’ Exhibition 2016 on Saturday 6th August enjoyed the entertaining speech by raconteur Harold Mitchell AC.

Click here to watch the video of the opening .

Harold Mitchell at opening of LDFA Collectors' Exhibition 2016
Harold Mitchell at opening of LDFA Collectors’ Exhibition 2016 ***

Read his article from the Business Today section of The Age, Friday 12 August – click on the link below for the full text.

“I was delighted to open an arts exhibition in Melbourne last weekend.

I’ve always been comfortable in the art world after being chairman of the National Gallery and growing up around artists themselves.

And as a result I’ve learned a few rules about openings: don’t get too serious, throw in a couple of jokes and try as best you can to dress like Barry Humphries, including a small colourful sarong stuffed into the breast pocket of your jacket.

It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon at the Lauraine Diggins Fine Art exhibition and the pictures for sale weren’t too shabby.  The Europeans included a Guido Reni with P.O.A. on it where the dollar figure usually appears.  A Richard Bonington was available at a cool $US460,000 and the Australian contingent included, Streeton, Glover, Conder and a wonderful piece by the extraordinary Australian Indigenous artist Rover Thomas, which I suspect will fetch up around a million.”

Mitchell_The Age 12082016 Australia is Stuck in a Rut and Needs Brave New Leaders