08 April 2013

Sidney Nolan

While in Melbourne I visited Heidi which was the home to Sunday and John Reed, Australia's most famous (and wealthy, I gather) bohemian couple. They built up a Contemporary Art Centre in Bulleen, just outside of Heidleberg and a stone's throw from Melbourne CBD. Originally a small dairy farm it was converted into an elegant yet simple home to which eventually two more buildings were added. It's walls  were quickly filled with works of Art by many of their artist friends who were living around Melbourne after the war. The three buildings on the property regularly host exhibitions. On my visit were exhibits showing new works by Contemporary artist Fiona Hall, and another with works by Louise Bourgeois. 

In the original farm house, which the Reeds returned to, and eventually died in (both within ten days of one another in December 1981) was a show of Sidney Nolan. Here there are small drawings, paintings and gouaches which decorate this unpretentious home. Over time, I see more and more clearly that he is really one of the most original European artists of 20th Australia. I include some poorly reproduced photos from this little booklet as I was not authorized to take photos inside. As well, (top) a painting which always stops me in my tracks when I see it at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane. I could barely pull myself away from the second image which is entitled Abstract, St Kilda Reflections, 1939. I think it's the height of Modernism of which I am an adherent, and astute friends will recognize immediately why I am drawn to these images.

Bon parcours!

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