National Gallery Victoria

I love the National Gallery of Victoria.  Although these exhibitions are fee charging they are so worth a visit.

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

This is great exhibition well set up with mirrors to ensure it is possible to view all sides of the statues.  They look very simple but everything tells a story (refer the excellent explanatory notes).  Stye of clothing, even hats, trousers and tunics indicate status in life and / or the army.  Each statue is unique – positions of hand and arm change; expressions on faces change.  And every one is life sized. What very clever artists so, so long ago.

Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Lanndscape

When you are wandering through the first room looking at the walls, remember to look  up – you will see the first few “starlings” that lead the way beyond the terracotta warriors to the “Murmuration” of starlings.  Cai uses gun powder in creating his artworks – yes he lays it down and blows it up.  Amazing what he creates – you will say yes I can see a landscape and you will be able to identify flowers.  And when you find the murmuration of starlings, you will find a transient moment captured in ceramics in the space above your head.  At the end of the exhibit is a video of Cai managing an explosion used to create works on display.  It is set to the sound of chinese drums and is a brilliant finale.

Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor

Alexander Calder loves drawing and movement.  He creates beautiful large scale “mobiles” and expanded his love of drawing to using wire to create the line that is  a cheek, a nose, a smile – 3D portraits in wire.  With each of his mobiles, hanging from the ceiling,  I found myself  wondering how long it took to find the right point to attach the hook so that the mobile hung true and did not collapse upon itself.

A great few hours exploring these wonderful exhibitions from our NGV.