Art galleries for me are usually a 1-hour stop. I typically have an exhibition in mind and might take in some of the permanent collection, time permitting. The Art Gallery of New South Wales was an anomaly; I spent the better part of day here.
Why? Likely a consequence of being raised in a family with an artist; I have an appreciation for all art, even if my preferences lean toward the contemporary. That’s the thing here at the Gallery NSW, they have good representation across styles and periods with several special exhibits typically warranting a view.
The real pull here, aside from whatever special exhibits are on the display, is the Aboriginal art; my understanding is it cannot be seen elsewhere. On previous visits this art was on display in the lower levels without any advertising, I found it totally by accident. At that time there were some legal issues with taking photographs of the art. Now the collection is front and center on the main floor; the museum worked it out so the art can be photographed. The following, as I learned, are all abstract representations of landscapes where the artists were raised.
One of the special exhibits was the following by a Chinese artist titled “Speaking with the Ancestors”. It was the wide swatch of red that drew my eye away from the Buddhas I was viewing in the Asian Art wing. Photographs of the all of their relatives throughout time, washed in red, hinged together and occupying the entire floor space. It was the scale and physicality that were impressive. I have plenty photos of my relatives but they are on my computer, not occupying the floor space of one whole wing in the Gallery NSW.
The rest are just a sample of the gallery I found interesting.