[First filed: Sep 30, 2010 @ 15:58]
The Governor-General is opening the expansion of the National Gallery tonight. But I went down for a media preview this morning so you can get a feel for the wonders to come.
In speaking to the assembled reptiles (lots of national media there including David Marr being conspicuous) Director Ron Radford started by noting that the expansion had begun as a quest for a decent front door on the Gallery.
As it opens it now includes a heavily expanded shop, a street cafe, a gold plated grand hall, 11 new spaces (aka rooms) for indigenous art, and marble clad toilets (watch for them in the slideshow below).
Also on display now is the astonishing Within Without (featuring heavily in the slideshow) an awe inspiring monumental sculpture by James Turrell which is a bit like a russian doll of sculpture, only the audience have to move through the layers. It’s simply gob-smacking.
The new building is exquisite, fitted with the finest slate, timbers, marble and granite from all over the continent. Sadly Radford noted the only Canberra contribution was the grass on the outside of Within Without.
Almost as exciting is that with the indigenous collection (the world’s largest) displayed in the new stage other highlights of the collection are now back on display in the older part of the building.
It’s a brilliant tour de force of art and architecture and it’s open to the public from tomorrow.
More details on their website and a slideshow below.