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Henry Thornton - Lifestyle: A discussion of economic, social and political issues Dobell Prize Winner, Leda and `her` swan Date 27/08/2007
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plus turtles, birds, dragons and some miscellaneous monsters ...
By Fiona Prior Email / Print

Dobell Prize for Drawing: prize winner Ana Pollack
Art Gallery of New South Wales
(information release)


It was announced on Thursday, 23 August 2007 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales that ANA POLLAK is the winner of the 2007 Dobell Prize for Drawing for her sensitively realised and restrained landscape drawing Mullet Creek.



image credit: Ana Pollak Mullet Creek  2007. Winner of the 2007 Dobell Prize for Drawing.


Ana Pollak was awarded $20,000 for winning Australia’s most respected award for drawing in Australia. A worthy winner, Ana Pollak’s Mullet Creek joins a remarkable collection of drawings acquired as Dobell Prize winners at the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 1993.  This year there were 514 drawings entered, of which 45 are included in the exhibition.  The artist, Colin Lanceley was this year’s judge.


Colin Lancely: 'This is an articulate and generous drawing that clearly refers to a river landscape.  Also, the work says something about the general language of drawing through the quality of line - the juxtaposition of both relaxed and tense lines.'


A resident of Dangar Island, Ana Pollak’s drawing is minimal and seemingly abstract. Reeds, water atmosphere are rendered with spare but delicate marks of charcoal. Ana Pollak studied at Byam Shaw School, London, Tom Bass Sculpture School, Sydney National Art School and Alexander Mackie College, Sydney.  She is a painter, sculptor and printmaker as well as draughtswoman.


The Dobell Prize for Drawing, initiated by the trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation was first awarded in 1993. There are fifteen prize-winning drawings in the collection acquired as a result of the prize, which form part of a growing collection of Australian drawings at the gallery.
 
List of finalists http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media/current/dobell_finalists
 
The Dobell Prize for Drawing in on view
Until 4 November, 2007
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain Sydney 2000 
 
tel: + 61 2 9225 1744 or toll-free 1800 679 278
 
Hours
10am until 5pm, 7 days a week
Art After Hours every Wednesday until 9pm



The Art Gallery of New South Wales is hosting some beautiful exhibitions presently.
Don't miss the following:


Bertram Mackennal
The Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project
Art Gallery of New South Wales
(information release)


Over the 1890s to 1910s Melbourne born sculptor Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931), who was based in London, became the most internationally successful artist that Australia had produced.








   

 

 image credits: (Left to right): Circe  1893, bronze 240 x 79.4 x 93.4 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. The Felton Bequest 1910; Diana wounded  1905, bronze 26.8 x 16 x 9.5 cm, Private collection; Candle holder and electric table lamp (known as Leda and the swan) c 1891-93 bronze 14 x 27 x 11 cm, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.


Mackennal was one of a first generation of Australian born artists to travel to Europe to seek greater work opportunities and success.  Mackennal was the first Australian artist to be elected to membership of the British Royal Academy; the first Australian to have work purchased for the British nation and the first Australian artist to be knighted. Under the patronage of George V Mackennal became one of Britain’s leading establishment artists in the early 20th century, with works located throughout that country and in India.  His reputation in Britain far outshone that of contemporaries Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, George Lambert, and Rupert Bunny for example, who had similarly travelled overseas to attempt success in Europe.  Mackennal designed the 1908 London Olympic Games medals, the Coronation medal of 1911, and was the first non-Briton to design British coinage and postal stamps, which were in circulation throughout the Empire during the Georgian era. 


Whilst Mackennal remained an expatriate, travelling back to Australia only three times, he maintained close links to local sculptors. He had a large impact on the growth and directions of sculpture in Australia. He completed a number of public works including the Martin Place cenotaph, the figures of Archbishop Kelly and Cardinal Moran at St Mary’s Cathedral, and the Shakespeare memorial opposite the State Library; along with the monument to Edward VII, located on North Terrace in Adelaide; the monumental statue of Queen Victoria in Ballarat; the King Edward VII and Springthorpe memorials in Melbourne, and various statues of civic dignitaries in Brisbane and Perth.  Mackennal’s Springthorpe memorial is the most spectacular example of Art nouveau and Symbolist inspired sculpture in this country.


In England, Mackennal rose to considerable sculptural prominence by creating the memorial tomb to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. He created Britain’s national memorial to Thomas Gainsborough in Suffolk (Gainsborough’s birthplace), and completed various sculptural projects for Britain’s royalty, including those executed for Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, and for the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle.  The national memorial to Edward VII, an equestrian statue of the King in the centre of London at Waterloo Place, is Mackennal’s; as are works in Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Winchester Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, and St Paul’s Cathedral. 


Mackennal is certainly one of the two most important sculptors Australia has produced.  He became an exceptional avant garde artist in the 1890s.  Living in Paris in the mid 1880s and in contact with Rodin, Mackennal was strongly influenced by the progressive French interest in Florentine Renaissance traditions - a fact which British critics later attributed to the artist’s marked preoccupation with the eroticized body.


Counting Sarah Bernhardt and Nellie Melba as intimate associates (he also produced busts of both women), Mackennal became renowned as the creator of beautiful, empathetic portraits of many of the era’s leading ‘new women’ (actresses, singers and socialites). Two of the most arresting of these works, the artist’s busts of Nellie Melba and young American socialite Miss Grace Dunham, will be included in the exhibition. Similarly Mackennal established a reputation in both Paris and London as the creator of bold, sensual female nudes, his mythological female figures such as Circe, Truth 1894, Salome c1897, and Venus, will also be included in the exhibition.


The Bertram Mackennal exhibition, the Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, features fifty-five sculptures, and an accompanying monograph on the artist – the first of its kind – which also includes a fully illustrated catalogue raisonné of Mackennal’s sculptures on cd-rom. The monograph, featuring essays by leading sculpture experts in Australia, Britain, America and New Zealand, including eminent British historian Benedict Read, illustrates all of Mackennal’s major works.


The Earth and the elements,  and life-size figure Diana wounded  will be part of the exhibition courtesy of the Tate in London.


Bertram Mackennal
The Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project
Until 4 November, 2007
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain Sydney 2000 


tel: + 61 2 9225 1744 or toll-free 1800 679 278
 
Hours
10am until 5pm, 7 days a week
Art After Hours every Wednesday until 9pm  



Translucent World
Chinese Jade from the Forbidden City
Art Gallery of New South Wales (information release)



Translucent World is an exhibition of Chinese jade from the outstanding collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing, featuring the manifold uses of jade depicting nature as a reflection of human beliefs and emotions.


Since ancient times, the Chinese have revered this ‘heavenly stone’, carved to produce the most prized ornaments and ceremonial implements. Nature, worked in a diversity of themes and styles over the millennia, has remained a potent source of inspiration for artisans. Since China's Neolithic period, real and imagined creatures of the earth - turtles, birds, dragons or other monsters - were endowed with special attributes, as revealed by their depiction in jade. Gradually the flora and fauna of nature became jade’s most important subject matter. After the Tang dynasty, the landscape with its mountains and streams came to occupy a distinguished place within jade’s thematic repertoire.








     


image credits: (Left to right): Figure of a dog, Qing dynasty (1616-1911); Emperor's throne-set decorated in jade with flower-and-bird motifs, Qing dynasty; Carved boulder with scenes of 'The Nine Elders of Huichang', Qing dynasty, Quianlong period, dated 1787 


Designed to decorate cultural implements or sculpted into evocative boulders, these works embodied the universal longing of cultivated individuals to escape their quotidian world to commune with nature. As a crucial component of the nature and its rhythms, humans are represented as part of this translucent world.


Chinese depictions of nature through jade are seldom mere representations of the external world. Rather, they explore nature as a reflection of the human ideal. These ideas about nature, as well as their manifestation in jade, are consistent with Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism, all of which stress humanity’s oneness with nature.


Focusing on this unique genre and its principal theme of nature, this exhibition provides insight into the history and development of one of China’s most vibrant and enduring cultures. The 185 works,thoroughly representative of all periods of Chinese jade carving from Neolithic times to the Qing dynasty, illustrating the different uses of this most precious stone and the variety of carving techniques used across history. Among the most marvellous key objects are a carved jade boulder (114.5 cm height) depicting ‘The Nine Elders of Huichang’, commissioned by the emperor Qianlong in 1787, and an emperor’s throne-set magnificently decorated in jade with flower-and-bird motifs.


Translucent World
On view
Until 11 November, 2007
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain Sydney 2000 
 
Tel: +61 2 9225 1744 or toll-free 1800 679 278
Admission to Translucent World
$8 adult, $6 concession



See what The Art Life  is up to this week ... 
 


 


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