Abstract Expressionism Made Easy

August 25, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |
"Blue Poles" by 'Jack the Dripper' (Jackson Pollock)

"Blue Poles" by 'Jack the Dripper' (Jackson Pollock)

National Gallery, Canberra, August 2017 Abstract Expressionism is easy, and fun! A child could do it, although it generally wouldn’t. It takes an adult with life-tempered chutzpah to attempt it and then whack a frame around it. Here’s a d-i-y trip down Memory Lane:                                       Now, The Varnished Culture can reveal how the high-profile practitioners make good, as evidenced in the world-class display seen recently at Canberra’s National Gallery. Take Frank Stella and his pantheon of floating, by-the-numbers pastiches of violent colour….

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Can Liberalism Fight Back?

August 23, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, POLITICS, Ulalume |
LT

Liberalism is a slippery label, misused ever since the God of the New Testament set the sheep to the right and the goats to the left.  Liberals traditionally have been put along the political spectrum at the ‘sensible centre,’ or perhaps the ‘mushy’ centre-left: at its most worthy, however, it has transcended the spectrum and concerned itself mostly with the freedom and protection of the individual. From the right, liberals were sneered at as ‘wet,’ from the left, socialism was held to be the logical next phase (and replacement) of liberalism. This pincer movement of the two extremes is what killed…

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Face Off

August 15, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, Ulalume |
Our winner

Our winner

NSW Art Gallery (August 2017) The Varnished Culture has previously waxed acidic about the Archibald Prize, so it was with twitching, skeptical smiles that we traversed the crowded rooms of daubs of slebs. Wisely, the curators had again combined this well-known but somewhat debased portraiture competition with those for landscape painting or figurative sculpture (the Wynne Prize) and for subject, genre or mural painting (the Sulman Prize). So we could admire something other than the mugs of B-listers, such as this very busy Australian copse by Nicholas Harding… or this taste of Corot: or this nice slice of magic realism: Of…

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Fetch a Rope!

July 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian Politics, LIFE, RELIGION, Ulalume |
JohnHeith

Historical sex charges are problematic.  These types of antique sexual allegations are awfully easy to make, awfully serious, and awfully hard to refute. There always are metaphorical torches carried in the streets (in the middle of the day) for those charged. People write with relish at the thought of a show trial; they say they have always known the truth about the accused, whom, while ladled with qualifications that “X denies the charges, which are yet to be proven,” nevertheless are pinned with labels such as “paedophile” and “monster.” These witch hunts (“Gee, a high-placed religioso is charged, so let’s throw him in a pond to see…

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David Roche

June 27, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, CRAFT, LIFE, Ulalume |
monday-11

Roche Museum, June 2017 The brochure for the David Roche Foundation notes that Roche (1930 – 2013) established it in 1999 “to be the recipient and custodian of the exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objets d’art accumulated by him over his lifetime and to be preserved for future generations.” It is true that the museum holds some 3000 pieces, curated in the V & A style (one thing on top of another) with some strong pieces – porcelain by Chelsea, Meissen, Worcester and Sèvres, curious metal appliances, some Fabergé curios and pleasing period furniture… The Varnished Culture attended on a chilly…

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