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Parallel Visions
Affinities within the Australian Collection

Until Sunday 4 May 2003

Following the enormous public success of Australian Icons, an exhibition based on the strength of twenty great Australian artists in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Collection, a major sequel entitled Parallel Visions: Affinities within the Australian collection will be on display at the Gallery from 22 February 2002 to 2 February 2003.

From the Gallery’s Australian collection, twenty-two significant artists have been selected. Their representation is extensive, and includes some of their most acclaimed masterpieces. On this occasion however, instead of being presented as individuals, the artists are grouped in a deliberate exercise of comparisons.

Comprising some 250 paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and sculptures, the exhibition will reveal to varying degrees shared artistic intentions and visual language, subject matter, sense of place, and in many cases a personal relationship. Each association between one artist and another has its own telling emphasis.

The exhibition embraces a diversity of themes seen in a new context. Some of the most revered landscapes in the collection are included: from Hans Heysen’s beautiful watercolour Summer, 1909 to Jeffrey Smart’s Truck and trailer approaching a city, 1973; figurative compositions from the spectacular Summer time c. 1907 by Rupert Bunny to sensuous watercolours and drawings by Norman Lindsay and Donald Friend; probing, poetic abstractions by Ralph Balson and Roger Kemp; and amongst the finest still-life paintings by Australia’s consummate artist of the genre, Margaret Olley.

Offering a different perspective of familiar icons, Parallel Visions also delivers a key mission of the public museum - to provide fresh readings of the material under its custodianship. But more than that, comparison between one artist and another is one of the most fascinating components in the adventure of appreciating collections.

ABN AMRO Rothschild has sponsored the Gallery’s Australian collection research and exhibition programme since 1997.

"Since we began that partnership we have sponsored a number of exciting exhibitions including the Jeffrey Smart Retrospective in 1999 and the highly successful Australian Icons exhibition in 2000. Our association with Australian Icons was a particular highlight as our support enabled the Gallery to restore a number of works from its Australian collection for the exhibition.

In the same manner, we are proud to support the Art Gallery of New South Wales in staging Parallel Visions: Affinities within the Australian collection which presents the work of twenty-two of our foremost artists and includes some of their most acclaimed masterpieces."

Angus James, Chairman ABN AMRO Rothschild in Australia

An illustrated catalogue, with texts by several distinguished authors, and an introductory essay by the exhibition curator Barry Pearce, Head Curator Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales will accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is generously sponsored by ABN AMRO ROTHSCHILD

On view:

Friday 22 February to Sunday 4 May 2003
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney

Telephone:(02) 9225 1744 or recorded information (02) 9225 1790
Hours:10am to 5pm 7 days a week
(closed Christmas Day and Easter Friday)
Admission:Free of Charge
Media Information and Interviews:Media Information
Claire Martin, Press Office
Telephone (02) 9225 1734
Images available on request

Roland Wakelin, Synchromy in orange major, 1919 oil on cardboard, 30 x 40cm Bequest of Mervyn Horton 1983

Ralph Balson, Abstraction, 1951 oil on hardboard, 90.2 x 105.3cm Gift of Mr W Balson, the artist's son 1965