Gallery’s global ap­peal a 10 on the Richter scale

The Australian - - THE NATION - CHAR­LIE PEEL

The open­ing of the first ma­jor Aus­tralian ex­hi­bi­tion of one of the world’s most in­flu­en­tial and ex­pen­sive con­tem­po­rary artists is fram­ing an al­ready record year of suc­cess for Queens­land’s Gallery of Mod­ern Art.

As­sem­bling the works of Ger­man artist Ger­hard Richter from pri­vate and public col­lec­tions, in­clud­ing the Tate Mod­ern in Lon­don, is an­other ma­jor coup for GOMA fresh on the heels of its re­cent foray into movie cul­ture with the Mar­vel show­case, which drew block­buster crowds.

Mix­ing hands-on, in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays and se­ri­ous artis­tic ex­hi­bi­tions has driven pa­tron­age and made the decade-old GOMA one of the most pop­u­lar and cut­tingedge gal­leries in the coun­try.

More than 1.73 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited in the last fi­nan­cial year.

Mar­vel: Creat­ing the Cin­e­matic Uni­verse broke all pre­vi­ous at­ten­dance records for a tick­eted show, at­tract­ing 269,000 vis­i­tors from May 27 to Septem­ber 3.

Ger­hard Richter: The Life of Im­ages, dis­play­ing 60 years of re­al­ist and ab­stract paint­ings, will show ex­clu­sively in Bris­bane from to­mor­row to Fe­bru­ary 4.

GOMA di­rec­tor Chris Saines said the gallery was fo­cused on adding to its reper­toire of highly in­ter­ac­tive work and more se­ri­ous dis­plays.

“The gallery has be­come known for really ex­pe­ri­en­tial works where peo­ple can en­gage their senses while en­joy­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion,” he said.

“As well as the en­gag­ing dis­plays we are pre­pared to take on more se­ri­ous work, like Ger­ard Richter. I think it is that mix which is driv­ing our suc­cess.”

Queens­land Col­lege of Art stu­dent Danielle Milne, 36, said Bris­bane was lucky to host such a ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion after be­ing given a sneak peek of the works.

“This is the type of show Aus­tralia would be lucky to see in Syd­ney or Mel­bourne, so it is a big deal for Bris­bane,’’ she said.

“Up un­til to­day I had only seen (Ger­hard Richter’s) work in books but to see them up close was amazing.

“For the du­ra­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion I will be com­ing back to see the paint­ings and I think I will no­tice some­thing dif­fer­ent each time.”

Mr Saines said in­creased fund­ing from the Queens­land gov­ern­ment had helped the gallery to be more am­bi­tious in its ex­hi­bi­tions.

LYN­DON MECHIELSEN

Cu­ra­tor Geral­dine Kir­rihi Bar­low gives Queens­land Col­lege of Art stu­dent Danielle Milne a sneak preview of Ger­hard Richter: The Life of Im­ages

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