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Discovering Dobell at TarraWarra Museum of Art

Home > Melbourne > Art | Escape the City | Exhibitions | Galleries
by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne and happy to spread the love for funky town with the WeekendNotes readers.If the feeling is mutual you can subscribe to my articles or share them with your friends.Or visit my website at diywoman.net.
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Discovering Dobell a showcase of early Australian modern art
The Discovering Dobell exhibition at TarraWarra is yet another example of a thoughtfully curated tribute to an Australian artist.

Tarrawarra, Helena Rubinstein, William Dobell, Dobell, Yarra Valley, Drysdale, Marc Besen, Besen, Eva Besen, Christopher Heathcote
Self-portrait

Curator Christopher Heathcote has assembled some of Dobell's most iconic works,and put them together in a coherent chronological configuration. Included in the exhibition are some recently discovered ball point pen on paper abstracts that look like the telephone-talk doodlings of a Da Vinci. (Erm, if phones and ballpoints had been around in the 15th century.)

Tarrawarra, William Dobell, Dobell, Yarra Valley, Drysdale, Marc Been, Besen, Eva Besen, Christopher Heathcote
Dobell's doodlings

William Dobell's notoriety as the controversial winner of the1943 Archibald Prize should not be allowed to overshadow his artistic achievements, nor his importance to the Australian modern art scene. The portrait of Joshua Smith that landed Dobell in so much trouble was on display in all its light-and-brown hued glory...

Tarrawarra, Joshua Smith, Archibald Prize, William Dobell, Dobell, Yarra Valley, Drysdale, Marc Been, Besen, Eva Besen, Christopher Heathcote
The Joshua Smith portrait

as was the universally admired portrait of cosmetics queen Helena Rubinstein.

Portrait of Helena Rubinstein


In a rare speech by philanthropist Marc Besen at the exhibition launch, he described Dobell and his contemporary Russell Drysdale as 'the apotheosis of Australian modern art' who 'showed us the way.'Dobell's circle of friends including Lloyd Rees, Ralph Balson, John Olsen and Jeffrey Smart are also represented in the exhibition.

Tarrawarra, Jeffrey Smart, William Dobell, Dobell, Yarra Valley, Drysdale, Marc Besen, Besen, Eva Besen, Christopher Heathcote
The clean lines of Jeffrey Smart


The Discovering Dobell exhibition is another great reason to head down Maroondah Highway to the bucolic setting of the Tarrawarra Museum of Art. It's on till August 13.
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Why? A rare opportunity to catch Dobell and his circle of friends in one place at one time
When: Sunday May 27 to Sunday August 13
Phone: (0)3 5957 3100
Where: Tarrawarra Museum of Art
Cost: Adults $7.50 Seniors $5 Pensioners, students & children 12 and under free
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