In this week's On the Nose, in the Know & Other News, we look at what it takes to get the Metropolitan Museum of Art to usher their collection Down Under; what Alice Neel has to say about nudes; and the book recommendation that could literally change the world (we speculate).
Renovations & Rembrandt
In a time where overseas travel seems a dream away, Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art has found a loophole and has brought to Australian shores masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Opening this week, European Masterpieces features sixty-five paintings from dating back 500 years. That's good news for anyone who finds the Modernists distasteful. They'll be able to enjoy the refined masterworks by Caravaggio or Titian. For those with a modern taste, Monet's Water Lilies (1916-1919) will make an appearance on the GOMA walls. If you're one of the many part of the 'great migration' (that is the murky post-pandemic movement up north to Queensland), then this is the perfect 'welcome to God's country' taster of the town.
The MET has been doing some much needed renovations on their gallery and thought why not make an extra buck, thus the loan to GOMA. Rather than allowing the masterpieces to stare, gobsmacked, at the drooping pants and subsequent coin slots of New York tradies, they save everyone from embarrassment. Those of us currently stranded in Australia and unable to leave its shore due to flight restrictions are celebrated with tears in our eyes and a shimmy to our hips at the news of the loan. It's also a brilliant marketing scheme on the side of the MET, who's banking on this tasting platter to lure art-loving Australian to the MET.
FLIGHT: CANCELLED | EXHIBITION
The City Archivist
In this week's On the Nose, in the Know & Other News, we aim the spotlight on a not-so-wrinkled self-portrait by Alice Neel. In 1980, Neel painted herself as an aging contemporary painter with creases and folds in her flesh. The portrait came late into Neel's life—check out her fluffy white grandma hair. Four years later, she would die at eighty-four. Neel painted the people around her, ignoring the frat-bro fads of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism. Her focus stayed on the street kids, the immigrants, the pregnant women, and anyone else in the neighbourhoods she occupied: Greenwich Village, Spanish Harlem, West Harlem, and the Upper West Side. Self-Portrait has many beautiful notes in it, reminiscent of a Mozart flute. She sits alert on an armchair, looking directly at the audience with a paintbrush in hand. See the pinks splashing her skin, not to mention that blush of green on her shoulder, and the striking contrast of yellow and green that reminds this writer (perhaps unnecessarily) of The Night Cafe.
Luckily for those living on the other side of the world—namely on the continent of North America, specifically in the country of the United States of America, let's narrow it down to the city of New York—there's no need to wait for borders to reopen. Head straight to the MET and enjoy Self-Portrait without the interference of a computer monitor. Enjoy a smorgasbord of realistic portraits by twentieth-century painter and die-hard communist Alice Neel. Alice Neel: People Come First is the first retrospective held by the museum for the New York artist. And if you ask this writer, she'd say it's about damn time. Who is this writer, you may wonder. You'll never know. Enjoy the collection of Neel's work that wasn't destroyed by a jealous lover. She would make the best of painters run for their mummies.
When the Existential Beat Drops - Doof Doof Doof
In the first edition of 'Stamp this Book', we ecstatically take book recommendations from artists featured in Golem issues past and present, print and online. Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf comes from a recommendation by Eric Sesto, who glossed the front cover and featured as an interviewee for our debut issue.
In the wake of an existential crises at fifty years old, Hermann Hesse wrote Steppenwolf about forty-seven year old Harry Haller, also experiencing an existential crises. Why not experience the on-going dread of an identity crises with our unhappy protagonist? Steppenwolf is Hesse's tenth novel. While it had been released to mixed reviews, we at GQR say f-ck it and enjoy this journey to self-knowledge. For those feeling the oncoming of an existential breakdown, or what the latter centuries would romantically call 'melancholy', Hesse's body of work (which includes Demian and Siddhartha) is a dose of goodness.