New York comes to Brisbane

Thank goodness for friends who know that a tiny taste of New York is just what you need, and then let you get a bit nostalgic because you had such a good time in the Big Apple once, made promises to return and never did, and now in these covid times, despair that you’ll not ever get to repeat the experience.

New York’s amazing, incredible, wish I spent more than a day there, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has delivered 65 European Masterpieces to Brisbane’s GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art).

Honoured as the only Australian venue to showcase precious works from masters like: Monet, Caravaggio, Renoir and Van Gogh, art enthusiasts are taken on an impressive 500 year chronological journey from the Renaissance (1300s to 1600s) through to post impressionism (1880s+).

Given these art works rarely leave The Met, it’s definitely a feather in GOMA’s cap to secure such a first rate, world class exhibition. These are the ones that wheedled their way into my favourites list.

Titian’s Venus and Adonis completed in the 1550s. Venus tries to stop Adonis from hunting and his inevitable death. Lots of symbolism here that can sometimes go amiss. Time to brush up on Ovid’s Metamorphoses … and your Latin.
An artist I’ve long admired – the master himself – Caravaggio and The Musicians 1597. That is Caravaggio with the cornetto. When travel returns, check out Caravaggio’s The Beheading of Saint John in Valletta Malta.
Marie Denise Villers’ portrait of perhaps a classmate in an unorthodox all female art class at The Louvre Paris 1801. Good to see The Met has included female artists in this collection.
Bequeathed to The Met by Cornelius Vanderbilt is Englishman Joseph Turner’s Venice from the Porch of Madonna della Salute 1835. The boats may have changed over the years, but the cityscape remains achingly familiar.
Auguste Renoir and his 1883 By the Seashore. If you like Renoir’s work, The Art Institute of Chicago has a fabulous collection.
Vincent van Gogh The Flowering Orchard 1888, painted after his move to Arles south of France. Hence, the agricultural tilt.
Claude Monet Waterlilies 1916-1919. The Met tells us a gardener cleaned the waterlilies before each sitting.
Jean Baptist Grueze Broken Eggs 1756. Some connections to ponder – the broken eggs represent the servant girl’s broken moral code. Guess the mother’s reaction to her son is understandable.

And … the feature photo? That’s Georges de La Tour’s The Fortune Tellers 1630s. The older woman is reading the well dressed man’s fortune while unbeknown to him, three girls rob him – a common practice on Parisian streets. Yes, so many fabulous tales are told through art.

Cudos to GOMA who ensured European Masterpieces was a most enjoyable exhibition. Paintings were well spaced, human numbers kept to a comfortable level and information plentiful. Bank a few arts points and assuage the longing to return to not only the Big Apple, but the rest of the world. Do go.

The exhibition is on until 17 October. https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/european-masterpieces

Onward and upward my good friend Norween!

2 thoughts on “New York comes to Brisbane

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