Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

Centre Pompidou Video Art 1965-2005

Posted by redkoireviews on 08/01/2007

Baltimore 2003This exhibition of video art spanning forty years is showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Sydney Festival. It surprised me to find that artists have been using video and moving images for art for so long – about as long as the format has existed. Some of the early works felt a bit like the artist was still getting comfortable with the tools – a bit like a great painter’s early photographs. In the later works there’s more of a sense that the artist is totally comfortable with the technical bits, which means the viewer is left to focus on the creative aspect of the work, without being distracted.

Of the earlier works, my favourite was a piece by Samuel Beckett, most famous for his plays. Four differently coloured figures enter his minimalist stage one at a time, looking at first to be moving randomly, but as the four come together, creating a very symmetrical, rhythmic pace. He makes very good use of sound and movement – which is exactly the benefit of video over still art. Read the rest of this entry »


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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006

Posted by redkoireviews on 04/01/2007

GorillaMy Partner and I have made something of a habit of seeing the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ exhibition at the Australian Museum. It’s a great collection of stunning wildlife photos in a range of categories. This year, many of the bird shots where my favourite – a change from the landscape ones I’ve liked a lot more in the past.

Some of the descriptions that go with the photos are almost as interesting as the photo itself. Some of them reveal just how persistent (mad?) some of these people are. One guy learnt how to dive with walruses (very dangerous) then took over 400 shots in one session just to get his winning shot. This is the Everest mountain climb of photography. Personally, I think there is more creative art in finding something beautiful in something ordinary, like the winning dewdrops on a window (looks totally surreal) and the ‘bark as art’ shot.

Some of the Macro shots of insects, so on a recent walk in the blue mountains, I shot this Dragonfly.

I’d reccomend going to see this exhibition, but if you can, see it after school holidays finish – I found it way too crowded to see everthing at my own pace.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Constable: Impressions of land, sea and sky

Posted by redkoireviews on 18/04/2006

John Constables Rainstorm over the sea We saw this exhibition of John Constables art in Canberra at the National Art Gallery in Canberra, before we started at the National Folk Festival. Constable was a renowned landscape artist whose work has been reproduced in print but also on anything from biscuit tins to paint boxes. At the time, he was not as well recognised as he should have been because he persistently painted landscapes, which where not the fashion of the day. Now, his oil sketches have been brought together with finished works to reveal Constable as a real innovator.

He was a naturalist painter, paving the way for impressionists that would follow like Pissaro. His cloudscapes, use of light and shadow, and grasp of weather conditions really define his work. Many of his sketches have the weather conditions on the back so he could come back in similar conditions to paint a larger, final version. It made my partner want to go home and start painting. Personally, I like his style, but not as much Pissaro.

We took a guided tour and found it very worthwhile. The guide moved through the works at the right pace, not assuming too much assumed knowledge. If there’s no tour when you go, pick up an audio guide or watch the short documentary on the man. The works are arranged in themed rooms which help to create a story of the Constables life, not just a set of nice paintings. A must see. My Rating: 4 Stars

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2005

Posted by redkoireviews on 12/03/2006

Beech TreeThis is the third time my partner and I have seen these awards at the Australian Museum. Unlike a lot of modern art like Erwin Wurm, there is no subtext or artistic plot to wade through before you can enjoy these wonderful photographs.

That’s not to say they’re simply asthetic. The animal portraits in particular a emotional, full of life and personality. The category showing how humans can hurt or kill wildlife has a story to tell and made my teeth grind.

I think my favorites where some of the abstract photos – one of a still creek was mystical. Other faves where in the ‘wild places’ category. Perhaps the most impressive where the child categories – these pre-teenagers take photos far better than anything I’m capable of. Always worth a visit, and this year is no exception.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Posted by redkoireviews on 10/02/2006

PissaroThis exhibition is showing at the Art Gallery of NSW. Pissaro is an amazing artist – his paintings really do capture the subtle sensations of light and movement in the French countryside and cities. I particularly liked the city and industrial scenes. They seems very alive, bright and full of the energy that came with the start of the industrial revolution.
The exhibition istelf was well laid out, themed with different styles and subects. Pay the money for one of the portable audio guides – they reveal so much more about the artist and the paintings.
Impressionist art like this is a lot more accesible than something like the Erwin Wurm exhibition and the MCA. I suppose that’s why there where so many people. It was PACKED. Go during business hours if you can.
My Rating: 4 Stars

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Erwin Wurm, Glue your brain

Posted by redkoireviews on 28/01/2006

‘Glue your brain’ is being shown at the MCA as yet another feature of the Sydney Festival. Generally, modern art tends to amuse me but not enthral me. It often seems all a bit serious and overladen with meaning most people can’t access. However, this one is different. Much of it makes you smile or laugh. The use of clothing to create sculpture, or everyday object to create ’10min art’ actually does take the ordinary and make it something special.
People wandering through are encourgaed to ‘realise’ the artworks by becoming part of them, if only for a few seconds.
I’m sure there’s lots of meaning and symbolism for those who want that, but for the rest of us it’s a quirky detour from the humdrum of daily life.
My Rating: 3 Stars

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