Sunday, February 12, 2012

Luminous luminaries


luminous the landscapes of elisabeth cummings
Edge of the Simpson Desert  2011

On Friday I got to see a couple of by Australian artist Elizabeth Cummings and the other...well'll see.

Elisabeth Cummings
from a SMH article
Text from SMH article:

Elisabeth Cummings is the subject of two exhibitions but the artist remains reluctant to talk about herself, writes Steve Meacham.
Elisabeth Cummings apologises for taking her time opening the door. She's temporarily confined to a wheelchair in a friend's house in Balmain, recovering from a bone fusion operation on her right ankle, the result of dilapidating arthritis. Fortunately, her wrists aren't as badly affected, so she can wield a brush: ''They're not marvellous, but I can still paint,'' she says.
At 77, Cummings was recently described by The Australian Women's Weekly as ''the Invisible Woman of Australian painting''. Even the media release for the grandest exhibition of her career (so far) - a survey of her work over the past 30 years at the S.H. Ervin Gallery titled Luminous: The Landscapes of Elisabeth Cummings - introduces her as ''one of Australia's visual art quiet achievers''.
So, unless you are an artist yourself, an art critic (the Herald's John McDonald wrote in 1994 that her painting ''calmly restates the imperishable value of a fundamental visual intelligence''), or one of those astute collectors who have discovered her increasingly sought-after works over the past 20 years, you may not have heard of her.

Read more by clicking on Text heading above!

 Pilbara  read more here.

Images from the artist's King St Gallery shows:

The Shearer's Kitchen, Mt Murchison  2011

Post Prandial  2011

For images from her latest show at that Gallery click here..

To read about the show I just saw visit the National Trust website.

I now think Today maybe the last day of that show... I was lucky my friend was so keen to go on friday. We also spent a few hours viewing this show, which depute being a blockbuster allowed us some intimate time with an artist we rarely see work of in Australia.

From the NSW Art Gallery website:

Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

More than 150 important paintings, sculptures and drawings created by Pablo Picasso, which have come from the artist's personal collection.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales will host the most significant exhibition of Picasso’s art ever held in Australia. More than 150 important paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings created by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) have come from the artist’s personal collection – works he was determined never to relinquish.

Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris is the most ambitious exhibition ever undertaken by the Gallery. Jointly organised by Musée National Picasso, the Art Gallery of NSW and Art Exhibitions Australia (AEA), the exhibition is part of the Sydney International Arts Series, bringing the world’s outstanding exhibitions to Australia.

The exhibition was conceived, curated and mounted by Anne Baldassari, general commissioner and president of the Musée National Picasso and one of the world’s leading experts on the artist’s work. The international tour was initiated and created by the Musée National Picasso, the largest and most significant repository of the artist’s work in the world. Since 2008 works have travelled to cities including Madrid, Tokyo, Moscow, Seattle and San Francisco. This unprecedented opportunity to bring this exhibition to Sydney is possible because the Musée is closed for renovations.

image found here

The bathers

The opportunity to see things up close rather than online and in books presents one with  just how different one's preconceived image might be from the real work.

This painting is tiny compared to how my mind saw it. I was shocked and delighted to finfd it to be such a small work. The collection of works on show was stunning. Far better than I was expecting. Why do I say this?

enjoyed his work with the motif of the guitar - this looks to be an interesting book.

The tedium of walking through a show with hoards of people can really put one off.... on this occasion staggered hourly viewing sessions made a difference. Even though E and I sat midway to muse and talk at length no-one moved us on... we simply took in the show at our own pace which made it quite wonderful experience.

Ive not been able to find online images of the works I particularly enjoyed. All I can say is it was deeply satisfying to see so many works I'd not seen before. The Picasso Museum was closed in November when I managed to get to Paris briefly.... so this certainly made up for that disappointment.

The acrobat

Well I am setting off soon to take in some interesting places. Back soon. The sun's out after a grey old week... and I have a car today to get around easily!


Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing Elisabeth's work. Pilbara is wonderful as the table paintings. And Picasso! Nice, I bet that was great to see works that you have never seen. A surprise in viewing.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am in awe of your travels so far and the artist Elizabeth Cummings is new to me. I will do some further research! Blessings, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Printed Material said...

Sophie, I envy you the Picasso experience. When you get up close to a piece that you've seen in books etc over and over again I often find the scale a surprise - either it is much larger than you imagined or much, much smaller. I know books often publish the size of works but I don't always seem to take that in and imagine the scale of them. Thank you for the introduction to Elizabeth Cummings, someone I have never heard of over here but I will try to read more about her work. I am bowled over by the luminous colour in 'Pilbara'. Now that is something I'd like to have stood in front of and seen in real time!

Carole said...

One day I am going to make it to your Art Gallery of New South Wales! I'll call before I come to shout you a coffee after! xo

cerulean said...

Nice post again.Visiting your blog is always a little vacation.

ArtPropelled said...

Oh to see a Picasso exhibition face to face!! It must have been breathtaking, Sophie.

Sophie Munns said...

Lovely to come n late from a busy day and find visitors have popped in.

Wonderful surprises Lisa... I wanted to drink it all in!
Wish I could have found other images from the Cummings show to post... spectacular works you'd have loved!

HI Mary Helen,
I'm loving not doing much work on these travels... getting to wander and quietly take things in with no preconceived tasks.

Completely relate to your thoughts on viewing such works Lesley! One finds oneself surprised by how surprising it is... if that makes sense? Books trick us into feeling we know a work...then comes the occasional revelations with actual encounters. Glad you liked EC's work... so saturated with animated colour.

Give me some warning and I'll meet you here for coffee of course Carole! Its a wonderful Gallery!

Thank you Cerulean! The vacation word...I like that!

yes... breathtaking you are right. Absolutely! I had to get up close, view from the side, and from a distance ... whatever possible. Stretched one's mind to conceive of all the approaches, materials and methods he adapted to serve his muse!

Have a good week all of you , won't you!

badlydrawngirl said...

Thankyou for sharing Sophie, Elisabeth has been one of my favourite Australian painters for a a long time - I love the freedom of her brushstrokes and of course Pablo is a life long favourite.

Glad that you had a great Sydney trip.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Meagan,
it was a revelation to see so many of EC's large works ... the free brushstrokes and raw energetic painterly style held together in masterful compositions.
Thanks for your thoughts... Its been an excellent trip...home tomorrow!

Velma said...

i seldom get to a museum, so when it's a blockbuster show, and one queues through like cattle, it's really annoying. that's why i love smaller museums and galleries...

Maggie Neale said...

Sophie, what fun to visit with you here, Loved meeting Elizabeth Cummings through your post...yes, energetic brush strokes and so warm in pinks. Enjoyed. Glad I could be happy seeing her before I rushed on to see Picasso...glad you got a chance to see that one close up. Important to be in the presence of paintings...they have life force in the flesh.

Mlle Paradis said...

Wow. EC.!!!!! Like Bonnard meets de Kooning or Kandinsky. Will have to find more out about her so inspiring.

I do love that Picasso painting of the ladies in their bathing costumes. I had that (torn from a magazine) on my wall for a long time.

xoxo - busy week here but nice to take a breather with you!