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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

ART GALLERY IMMERSION: GOMA VISIT Part 1 ~ DRAWING MATISSE

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For some time I’ve been uncomfortable with the way that the concept of ART GALLERY has transformed from a place for the quiet experience of art and of seeking personal enlightenment, into one where visiting crowds seem hell-bent on seeking entertainment.  Ultimately I gave in and developed an expectation that a gallery visit could be about an experience cram packed with gratuitous fun, and … a few personal epiphanic moments.

GOMA Director Tony Ellwood states that he would like audiences to the Yoyoi Kusama Look Now, See Forever exhibition to “immerse themselves in the artist’s unique and compelling world view”. To test Ellwood’s immersive suggestion Vicky and I recently visited the Kusama show and the more traditional historical survey show – Matisse: Drawing Life which is touted as being ‘the most comprehensive exhibition of Henri Matisse’s prints and drawings ever mounted.’

We took in the Drawing Life show first. Matisse drew everyday and one would, from the pervasive theme of the show, think he drew the female nude obsessively—or is it that he just obsessively drew. The transition to immersive experience happens on leaving the show as viewers are enticed to try their own hand at drawing. To stir the budding artists to action, they are supplied not just with pencil and paper, but also a Matisse-esque tableau of drawing fodder—fruit baskets for still life, mirrors for self-portraits and art-school plaster ‘nude’ sculptures to practice on the human form.

Matisse Drawing space - Doug+Vicky cheat - 'drawing' a self-portrait with a CAMERA

For the techno-inclined tablets were available loaded with a drawing program that enabled a drawing to be made with finger or stylus. Not necessarily following the subtlety of lead on textured paper but none-the-less an ‘experience’. We drew the Brisbane city skyline opposite GOMA. The experience was value-added by the opportunity for the ‘drawing’ to be emailed to friends. (We were to later discover that when viewed, the drawing grew on the screen accompanied by music.)

Vicky sends off her 'digi-drawing' as an email

Vicky's 'digi-drawing' of Brisbane River --- Doug's 'digi-drawing' Brisbane city

With the Matisse ‘experience’ behind us we entered the Kusama show …..    SEE THE NEXT POST

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

March 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

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