We're used to getting to see some pretty impressive exhibitions of international artists and collections here in Brisbane. In recent years we have been on the receiving end of excellent shows featuring work by the likes of Picasso, Warhol, Matisse, and Valentino, from some of the world's most prestigious institutions.
However, many of our local museums hold their own collections of high calibre works that stand-up in the international arena. Perhaps an unlikely place for a collection of big name international artists is the QUT Art Museum, whose exhibition Heavy Weights: International works on paper from the collection, is currently showing off their spectacular holdings of works on paper by the likes of Sol Lewitt, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Ed Ruscha, Joan Miro, Fernand Leger, Georges Braque, David Hockney, Alexander Calder, and William Kentridge—among others.
How did such luminaries of 20th century art end up in QUT's collection? It seems that over the years the collecting and donating policies of a few key individuals secured this as a focus of the museum. Surprisingly, however, this is the first time the works have been shown together in a specifically curated show. The quality of work on display and the list of names attached will astound you. And if, like me, you are a fan of the endless possibilities that print-making offers as an art form, you will delight in the vast array of approaches each artist has achieved.
Also currently showing at the QUT Art Museum is another impressive exhibition of prints, Charles Conder: The Lithographs, which has travelled from Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Conder was an English-born artist who immigrated to Australia to become a key figure in the Heidelberg School in the late 19th century. Conder's lithographs are sensuous and fine works that show off the artist's great talent, and again reveal the possibilities of lithography as a medium.
Both of these exhibitions are a must-see (and free!), and end on July 28th.