Art About Town

I’m the worst when it comes to heading out and about to see art shows. I’ve been telling myself for weeks and weeks I’d go look at the current Roy Lichtenstein show and I only just found out about a political art exhibit that’s apparently been on for almost two months. Well I spent sometime this past weekend going on some small adventures.

The Queensland Gallery Of Modern Art is a cavernous building at the best of times but up in the back corner of the top floor is one room holding the Propaganda? Exhibition. It features works that the gallery owns in its collection and it’s an interesting mix on display. I liked the beautiful watercolour paintings from North Korea which were meters in size as well as the anti-war posters from 1940s Germany but the main drawcard for me was a set of Indonesian Woodcuts – four in total and massive in their scope and scale…

Yep, that’s E. to the side, so you get the scale of the woodcuts. The woodcuts are done by a art collective called ‘Taring Padi’ and short of taking notes, I spent quite a while scoping the detail and technique. You really should google ‘Taring Padi Woodcut’ to see some really inspiring political art coming out of Indonesia’s lower class.

I then headed across the river to the QUT Art Museum where a Roy Lichtenstein show is currently on (although it’s only on until the 26th of August). I have to be honest, I was expecting screenprints and while I’m still vastly interested in anything remotely print related… I guess I’ve never taken the time to look into Lichtenstein’s interest in woodcuts. At least a quarter of the show was woodcuts!

This is an early piece from 1952/53 sometime and to me it’s indicative of a modernist woodcut, interesting but holding the bold appeal that Lichtenstein commands.

Can you believe that all these are woodcuts too? I looked closely and could see the overlapping layers of ink on Kozo paper. I love how he knew the destination and part of the fun was the tools used for the journey – so much so that some of his works would incorporate screenprinting, Lithography and woodcuts all mixed in together. There was also a great video running that showed him in his various home and print studios making his works some of the background footage made the works that much more impressive.

If you’re in Brisbane, go check these out. there’s some really great stuff around town at the moment!

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