Current Exhibition
original etchings and lithographs by celebrated French artists and
works on French subjects by contemporary Australian artists

To be opened by Emmanuelle Denavit-Feller, French Cultural Attachée
Friday 18 November, 6 pm till 9 December 2011
see artworks

Regarding France is a collection of etchings and lithographs by celebrated French artists including Henri Hayden, Andre Masson, Roland Oudot and Edouard Vuillard of the School of Paris. Sourced over several decades from flea markets, antiquaries and galleries throughout France, as well as the Chalcography collection of Le Louvre, Paris, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to view and obtain master works. Complementing this selection are interpretations of French subjects by contemporary Australian artists: Rachel Carroll, Colin Husband, Daniel Pata, Peter Pinson, Anna Pradiere, Sandi Rigby, Kelly Stewart and Guy Warren.

The collection of master prints are richly diverse and convey French life at the turn of the century. The artists exhibited enable the viewer to see the importance of Paris as the centre of the western art world in the early decades of the 20th century. French painter and illustrator, Jean-Louis Boussingault, was trained in Paris at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. Influenced by figures and still lifes, his artwork, in muted tones, has been sited as ‘among the most powerful interpretations of the aspects of Paris and of Parisian life'.

Combining a richness of colour with a lyrical melancholy, Henri Hayden's coloured lithographs jump out at the viewer. Inspired by the French landscape, the Polish born artist demonstrates an elegant technique with a relaxed stroke, capturing the tranquil scenery.

Celebrated for his work as apart of the Nabis movement and known for his interest in patterns, textures of fabrics, the avoidance of indications of depth, Edouard Vuillard's etching ‘Portrait of Van Ryssberghe' reflects a fine attention to detail through the intricate line and mastery of shadow, while capturing the sitter's contemplative demeanour.

Amongst the contemporary interpretations of French subjects by the Australian artists, we can see a striking difference from life in the earlier part of  the 20th century.  In contrast to the array of French works are the bright graphic works of Kelly Stewart. Her screenprints conjure a modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere of Parisian life today. ‘Pigalle Intersection' captures the street action, with passers by and flashing lights, layered with splashes of pink and scratches of black outlines. These prints were inspired by a recent trip to Paris and were produced specifically for this exhibition.

The bold, green etchings of Sandi Rigby illustrate the calm, tranquil gardens of Paris and Versailles. The images mimic the rows of trees and garden hedges, with each small image capturing a different aspect of their beauty. ‘The Garden Book' seems to mirror the aesthetic gardens as if walking you through them, with delightful image compositions of precise lines and intricate adornments.

Colin Husband's painterly and impressionistic work captures, with a photographer's eye, a quintessential Paris featuring the Seine and two of Paris' most famous churches: St Germain-des-Prés and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Regarding France celebrates, through a visual timeline of French lifestyle from the turn of the 20th Century to today, the beauty, charm and belief (of the School of Paris) that France had so much to offer the art world.

Regarding France is on show at Marianne Newman Gallery, 1 Albany Street, Crows Nest from 18 November - 9 December 2011. 
Gallery Hours:  Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm