Versus Rodin

May 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |
The three shades at the Gates of Hell

The three shades at the Gates of Hell

(Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, May 2017) TVC recommends Jardin du Musée Rodin, Paris, for a pretty, fin de siècle, laid-out array of the world of Auguste Rodin (12 Nov. 1840 – 17 Nov. 1917):his home, his garden, and works, plus those of his muse and colleague, Camille Claudel.             This selection of his works, freighted with care and shown in Adelaide, juxtaposed with contemporary sculptural pieces, is intriguing and at times, a little depressing. Though the Greeks still claim the last word in the plastic arts, some of these new and even newer works were satisfying, amusing…

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We Told You So

May 1, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA |

The Varnished Culture had some observations, scrupulously avoiding any prejudicial fallout, about the art fraud case concerning Whiteley’s alleged painting of, inter alia, “Orange Lavender Bay.”  Concerning the alleged victim, the chap who bought the piece later accused of being a fake by certain experts, we suggested: When you pay, not for the work, but for the provenance, you get what you deserve. The defendants were convicted and copped custodial sentences, but we had commented in our earlier piece that serving of the sentences had been stayed pending appeal, the trial Judge commenting “I think there is a compelling argument that the verdicts are unsafe.”  Quoted…

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On the Wallaby Track

April 28, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA |

(1896 – Frederick McCubbin) Wondering why the wife in Frederick McCubbin’s “On the Wallaby Track” looks so despairing and drained? Is it because she is in a really dreary painting? No…Look more closely….is it because she and her husband are poor, itinerant workers who live on billy tea? No…Look closer still….is it because she is tired and her clothes are old and dirty? No.  Is it because her hands are deformed?  Maybe… Nooo…most likely it’s because she gave birth to a huge, hideous cannibal baby…. No wonder they live under a tree.

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The Pruner & His Knife, Busy About the Tree of Life

April 4, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART |
'Hold Still!' (detail of Derby porcelain)

'Hold Still!' (detail of Derby porcelain)

The National Gallery of Victoria put on a nice exhibit about love and love’s challenges, largely from existing museum stock. The Vanished Culture admired the exquisite Derby porcelains, including the classical trope (we recall a Robert-Lowell poem along similar lines) ‘Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings’ (see main image). Death and disarray hovers about aspiring lovers in these pieces, whether in Goya, Rembrandt, Giorgione, and most disturbingly, in Durer (see below). This free exhibition at NGV is well worth attending, even if you’re a regular.

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Our Smoking Ruin

March 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, Ulalume |
"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by 

"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by Topangahomeboy)

South Australia – a Looper’s Paradise If you’re unlucky enough to live in (or almost as bad, be passing through) Australia’s benighted State, the coalmine canary of the Commonwealth, cheer yourself up by logging-on that superb website, SA Great [].  You’ll be treated to a hard-to-navigate map and several invitations to submit an event, a business, a restaurant, a job, or a coupon (but not a complaint, not an idea). Adelaide closes down for a couple of months every year to host a stock car race (that ‘climaxes’ today), a pallid homage to the Formula-1 Grand Prix that we used to hold (annoyingly)…

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