16 April – 7 August 2011
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Opening 16 April 2011, the National Gallery of Victoria will present Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed, a superb exhibition which takes an in depth look at one of Australia’s most renowned and eminent landscape artists, Eugene von Guérard (1811-1901).
Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said: “This is a fascinating exhibition and a key highlight of our 150th birthday celebrations, as it takes a fresh look at the remarkable contribution von Guérard made to Melbourne’s developing arts culture in his role as the inaugural Curator and Master of the School of Painting at the NGV. In 2011 we also celebrate the anniversary of 200 years of von Guérard’s birth date.
“Von Guérard is unquestionably one of Australia’s most distinguished artists. Through his detailed brushstrokes and breathtaking compositions, visitors will explore the magnificent Australian, New Zealand and European landscapes he captured on his expeditions around the world,” said Ms Lindsay.
This exhibition will feature over 150 works, including many of von Guérard’s beloved iconic landscapes such as Northeast view from the northern top of Mt Kosciuszko, Tower Hill, Mt William and part of the Grampians in West Victoria, and Ferntree Gully in the Dandenong Ranges, as well as several beautifully illustrated sketch books, and some never-before-seen paintings.
Dr Ruth Pullin, Guest Curator, NGV said: “Von Guérard’s impressive landscapes offer great insight into the expeditions of which he was a part. The microscopic detail, accuracy and the scientifically-informed perspective that characterise von Guérard’s great Australian landscapes grew out of his experiences in Italy and Germany.
“For instance his geologically-informed portrayals of the Western District reflect his studies of the volcanic geology of the German Eifel. Von Guérard’s perceptive recognition of the significance of the volcanic Western plains and its geology has taken on particular contemporary relevance with the region being given global geopark status by UNESCO (Kanawinka Geopark),” she said.
Von Guérard’s experience in Düsseldorf as an open air painter encouraged his close observation of the details and the diversity of the natural world. Many works discovered in the course of the research leading up to this exhibition will be on display for the first time.
“In particular von Guérard was inspired by the great German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, to travel to the New World of Australia and undertake intrepid expeditions, often into remote and inaccessible regions of Australia’s south eastern colonies. On some of these, he travelled with scientists such as the German geophysicist, Georg von Neumayer. Their expedition to the top of Kosciuszko transformed von Guérard’s records of the geology and topography of the region, into some of the most sublime expressions of the Australian landscape in the history of Australian art,” said Dr Pullin.
Michael Varcoe-Cocks, Conservator & Exhibition Co-Curator, NGV said: “This exhibition has provided the opportunity for an unprecedented conservation program to be carried out on important works by von Guérard. The technical research associated with these treatments has revealed exciting new discoveries into the history of the paintings and a unique insight to the artist’s studio methods.
“Over the last three years, the conservation work that many of the paintings and their frames have undergone, will enable viewers to see and experience the works as von Guérard intended.
“Based on von Guérard’s precise observations of nature, this exhibition also highlights how his works are increasingly recognised as important environmental and historical records,” said Mr Varcoe-Cocks.
Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed will be on display from 16 April to 7 August 2011 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Open daily 10am–5pm. Admission fees apply.
A comprehensive book with essays by Dr Ruth Pullin and Michael Varcoe-Cocks and other writers will be published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. RRP$49.95
Adult $15.00 / Concession $12.00 / Child (5-15 yrs) $7.50 / Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) $42.00
NGV Member Adult $7.50 / NGV Member Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) $21.00