Art I Hate to Love

Ever gone to an exhibition and really wanted to dislike work for all sorts of reasons? I did today.

Detail of painting by John Bartley 1990 Titled: “Blowflies, Bull Ants and Burnt Chops” Winner Mosman Art Prize

I was bitter and twisted up over these exhibitions at Wollongong City Gallery and I went thinking I would really dislike them. Not for what they were but for my own selfish reasons. Of course I turned into marshmallow-me and the bitterness became sweet love. When I see good art, it dissolves all prejudices.  There is some exception to this rule however if my ex ever takes up painting.

The work above by John Bartley in the Ron Lambert exhibition was simply wonderful. The glazing and layering of the work did the job to melt away my glaze of humbuggerness. I wasn’t familiar with his work and found that he exhibits through Watters Gallery. Twenty years after winning the Mosman Prize that early influence of Ron Lambert lives on despite working in acrylic. Of course Lambert’s work was an abstracters dream, I was always going to love his work from the outset. There is no staying cranky with good use of oil.

Down in the lower gallery an exhibition by Naomi Ullman that I had seen a year or so ago at Armidale Gallery I think. I love the work and the message, just disappointed to see a re-run I guess. I was there to hear her talk about the work. It turned out I was a week late. My second layer of self-absorption had a stench of forgetfulness about it.

The last exhibit that I really was prepared to dislike left me bare and ashamed. Jenny Tubby’s Octagonal Rooms were great. I enjoyed the fact I was alone in there. I enjoyed peering through gaps, reading paper walls and the smell of paste. I felt that it may have been another exhibition similar to that of Jade Pegler – paper and glue,  but it felt as though it had more depth.

I had to also collect a painting and I left with my work, like a dog’s tail between my legs, ashamed at my prior judgmental attitude. To make up for my short-sightedness I took these photos so I can share the love.

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7 thoughts on “Art I Hate to Love

    • Those globes really are awesome, they are made partly with cut up credit cards and are a statement about mortgages and credit and the McMansions that people are building now. Very clever.

  1. Pingback: Putting Peart Away | Paint later, a painter's blog.

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