Art enthusiast. Loves painting, bushwalking and travels. Writing what I love sparks my passion. Sydney, Australia.
The Salon des Refusés exhibition was initiated in 1992 by the S.H. Ervin Gallery. The exhibition is the Gallery's 'alternative' selection which features the many works not selected as finalists from the Archibald and Wynne prizes at Art Gallery of NSW. A visit to the exhibition has always been my much anticipated art activity throughout the years.
In fact, the Salon des Refusés follows the tradition made famous by Napoleon lll in Paris in 1863. In that year the French Academy rejected 2,800 paintings submitted for the exhibition and it stirred up protests from many artists. Thanks to the Emperor's insistence, the huge number of the rejected works was requested to be displayed for the public to view and judge. The works by Manet and Pissarro were included in the very first Salon des Refusés.
Now in its 21st year, the exhibition showcases a total of 57 works this year, covering portraiture, landscape, and figure sculpture. The criteria for selection are quality, diversity, experimentation and humour. Well-known artists this year include Barbara Tyson, Tom Carment, and Chris O'Doherty (aka Reg Mombassa) alongside emerging artists. Actors, artists, singers, designers and politicians are popular sitters, such as Clover Moore, Edmund Capon and Claudia Chan Shaw. Artists expressed their works in different styles and techniques – a mixture of abstraction, impressionism and realism, offering you a range of diverse works for appreciation.
I was particularly drawn to a few works. Michael Snape's Bowl 13 2011 is a zinc-coated painted steel. It includes figures in different directions and each figure is unique.
As I have seen Tom Carment's works in various occasions, I admire his mastery of outdoor paintings and the way he captures all those great moments. His selected works in this exhibition is no exception. His 5-panel paintings around the container terminal at Port Botany are simply delicious.
Brenda Stace Chat's landscape painting, Cliffs, is another attraction to me. I just felt particularly connected to her work. In the description of her work, she explained that cliffs are about facing time, mastering hardships and the tenacity of life. It is a painting in deep meaning.
What's more, you can seize the opportunity to listen to the artist talks scheduled in Sunday afternoons at 3 pm from 15 April through 20 May.
Don't forget to vote your favourite artwork in the Holding Redlich People's Choice Award before you leave. If the artist you vote is the winner of the Award, you'll enter into the draw for a $100 gift voucher for the S.H.Ervin Gallery Bookshop.
The Gallery is located on Observatory Hill, The Rocks, which is within short walking distance from Circular Quay and Wynyard train stations. Why not take a stroll through the area to enjoy the beauty of nature and end your day feeling inspired and rejuvenated?