Friday, February 03, 2017

NGV Friday Nights- David Hockney and Olympia

NGV Friday Nights is on again for the summer bringing together current exhibitions at the NGV with performances by Australian and international music acts in the Great Hall. Tonight I checked out the David Hockney: Current exhibition, which featured over 1,200 paintings, drawings and video works from the past ten years of his career. Having seen a Hockney exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2013, quite a few of these works were already familiar to me. He has continued to utilise iPhones and iPads to create his drawings, with prints as well as screens displaying the drawing of the pieces throughout each room.

The exhibitions also displayed 80 of his portrait paintings in a long room, which was amazing to walk through and see them all hanging one after the other in the same space.

The landscapes were the highlight of the exhibition for me, with his "Bigger Trees Near Water" paintings covering entire walls of one room, and a series of prints of iPad drawings from Yosemite National Park which were quite beautiful.

The exhibition also features Hockney's fantastic video work "The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods" but unfortunately it was displayed on screens in a room that wasn't square and therefore lost the power of engulfing you in piece that I felt when I saw it in San Francisco.

After the exhibition I headed to the Great Hall to catch this week's musical act, Melbourne singer-songwriter Olympia (aka Olivia Bartley) and her band. Her debut album Self Talk is on the short list for the 12th Australian Music Prize, and its songs featured throughout her hour long set. Starting with "Honey," highlights included "Different Cities," "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" and "Somewhere To Disappear." It was great to see some kids sitting captivated at the front of the stage as they watched her absolutely shred on guitar. On a night that saw the launch of the AFL Women's League, it would be great if some of those little girls were equally inspired to pick up an instrument just from watching the gig. The evening closed with "Smoke Signals" (my favorite track off the album), which got a good response from the crowd in the room.

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