All doubts left when I wandered into this exhibition. I felt a sense of belonging, I was with my people, my painters. I was intimidated, thinking maybe I didn’t belong, that the discussions were above my level of understanding. I could feel the PhD’s in the room like a blast of heat from the urn at morning registration.
I took my seat in the symposium Fairfax Theatre, took out my little sketch book for the odd notes and when Richard Shiff began, my insecurities melted like a De Kooning woman.
As the bulk of people meandered to the grazing room for lunch, I took the opportunity to seek out my De Kooning (Woman V) only to find the room had been transformed into the Abstract Expressionism Exhibition and I was there alone. I was drawn to the end room to find a huge tonal Guston and a work by Peter Upward that left me gobsmacked.
I can’t begin to think how this will inform my work, whether the words of Dr Michael Hill or the analogy of Rothko and the Great Barrier Reef from Michael Leja will impact or whether it’s the unsaid hanging on the walls. As Richard Shiff said – art nestled in silence.