Review of the “Beloved” Exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

There is an astonishing and varied collection of art work in this exhibition, however my favourite of all the artworks exhibited at present is “Maybe Tomorrow” by Alvin Pankhurst.

This very large painting, tempera on board, was done in 1974. It features a room in a typical New Zealand Victorian villa room, complete with a cast iron tiled fireplace, hearth and ornate mantle. The wall coverings are ornate and tapestry like, the wallpaper is erotic and art nouveau in style.

Maybe Tomorrow

Maybe Tomorrow- Alvin Pankhurst 1974

There are some disturbing aspects in this painting , rambling vines, throughout the image there is broken crockery and utensils and distorted perspective . The man featured in the mirror has “black eyes”, and disturbing graffiti is reflected in both mirrors. Is it a picture of the past, the present, the future or from the other side?

Other admired pieces include “Specs” by Burne-Jones 1871, a watercolour image for a stained glass window, and the Beautiful Display Cabinet by Owen Jones 1863, which is veneered in ebony with ivory inlays.

Worthy of mention as being works of art in themselves, are the gold and gilded picture frames surrounding the works; Monet’s- “Debacle”, Machiavellie’s – “Cupid’s Frame”, and Casientino’s – “Two wings from a Triptych,” just to name a few.

Denise Shacks

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