Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inspirations from Matisse

Kudos to the good folk at GoMA. We went to see the Matisse exhibition over the holidays and the place was absolutely packed. GoMA is only 5 years old, but we've been going to the cultural precinct, with the Art Gallery and Museum, for years. In that time I've never seen it so busy with so many people of so many different ages. It really was fantastic to see.

It was $20 entry to the Matisse: Drawing Life exhibition. I'm such a tight arse...I really think it should be less. That's not really affordable for families, and with the amount of people there I'm sure they would still be making a packet! For Josh and I to get in would be $30, but he decided to hang out with his mate Christopher in other parts of the gallery instead. (Another fabulous thing I love about GoMA is that teenage boys are happy to hang out with each other's actually cool!)

There were over 300 works in this exhibition including sketches, paintings, drawings, illustrated books and photos. Some were simple while others were incredibly complex. I was blown away by the sheer volume of artwork he created -  On one painting alone he said he did over 3,000 sketches before finishing the final piece. I was also amazed by the breadth of his style. I always associated Matisse with the very simple line drawings, not the bright and beautiful watercolours as well. (Ooops, that was what he was famous for apparently!)

I think it was the largest exhibition I've seen and towards the end I got a bit...(dare I say)..bored? Which begs the question, is it quality over quantity?

Bernice and I commented to each other (in our quiet voices, so as not to offend the surrounding artsy folk) that some of the sketches...well...looked liked something that our kids had drawn in kindy. I kinda thought that the only reason it looked like art was because it was beautifully framed, with a quality matt, and was hanging in an art gallery with artful lighting. She said that the only difference really sometimes is that people have the balls to actually call it art! (She tells it like it is, my Bestie B).  

Having said this, they had a pretty cool interactive drawing room at the end of the exhibition, where you could create your own works while surrounded by a number of Matisse inspired environments. Easy I thought! Yeah, not so much. Turns out drawing kindy like pictures is actually kinda hard. This is the drawing I did of a vase of flowers. It was my best "Matisse". 

The exhibition was only a small part of our day at GoMA but it was definitely enjoyable and gave me a new appreciation for the difficulty of seemingly simple art.'s still my favourite place in South Bank.