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At the NGV: Australian Impressionism shines in the sunlight

At the NGV: Australian Impressionism shines in the sunlight

WATCH: Global architecture, art and design highlights, including the NGV’s ‘She-Oak and Sunlight’ exhibition.

Open to audiences until August 22, ‘She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism’ presents 270 works of Impressionist art from Australia and around the world. Named after Tom Roberts’ work, She-oak and sunlight (1889), which takes pride of place in the exhibition, the large-scale survey brings together some of the most widely recognisable and celebrated works by Frederick McCubbin, Jane Sutherland, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Clara Southern, John Russell and E. Phillips Fox. The exhibition also brings to view works by Iso Rae, May Vale, Jane Price and Ina Gregory.

She-Oak and Sunlight at the NGV includes work by Tom Roberts.
She-oak and sunlight by Tom Roberts (1889). Oil on wood panel. Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

NGV: ‘She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism’

Demonstrating the multifaceted nature of this much-loved movement, ‘She-Oak and Sunlight’ reveals the many forms of Impressionism in Australia, including painting the landscape en plein air (‘in the open air’). The exhibition spotlights the broader global context, personal relationships and artistic synergies between Australian Impressionists and their overseas counterparts by exhibiting Australian artworks alongside those by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and others drawn from the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Collection.

Expanding upon ‘She-Oak and Sunlight’, the NGV has announced the release of a four-part web series that celebrates and explores the continuing legacy of painting outdoors and its impact on the practices of contemporary Australian artists working today. Episode one, premiering May 12, will feature contemporary landscape painter Adam Pyett, whose practice deeply explores the very nature of painting by using Australian landscapes as a subject to explore relationships between light and colour. Following Adam’s episode, Victorian-based contemporary landscape painter Mary Tonkin will join the series, along with fashion designer Lyn-Al Young.

The ‘She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism’ exhibition continues at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square in Melbourne until August 22.


She-Oak and Sunlight at the NGV includes work by Arthur Streeton.
The purple noon’s transparent might by Arthur Streeton (c. 1896). Oil on canvas. Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
She-Oak and Sunlight at the NGV includes work by Tom Roberts.
A break away! by Tom Roberts (1891). Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Art Gallery of South Australia.
Lost by Frederick McCubbin (c.1886). Oil on canvas. Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
WATCH: Preview the ‘She-Oak and Sunlight’ exhibition, showing at the NGV until August 22.

Demonstrating the multifaceted nature of this much-loved movement, ‘She-Oak and Sunlight’ reveals the many forms of Impressionism in Australia.

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