Our holiday in Italy and Netherlands, September this year, impressed us with the popularity in Europe of the whole range of sculpture. A few classical museum exhibitions attracted very large numbers. We pre-booked, and then queued for an hour, to see the Villa Borghese in Rome which included, for example, Apollo e Daphne by Bernini, and Napoleon’s Sister as Venus Victorious by Antonio Canova. We queued again for over an hour for the Vatican Museum. An early morning visit enabled half an hour of awesome solitude in Basilica di San Pietro with Michaelangelo’s Moses, but soon after crowds would obscure it from view. In Florence, some 500 years after Michaelangelo sculpted “David”, people still say “Wow” on sight, and mass 6 deep around it.
Exhibitions of relatively recent works did not entail queuing. People traffic through the Peggy Guggenheim collection of modern artists in Venice was brisk but not daunting, and its dignified garden presentations of works such as Three Standing Figures by Henry Moore, and Leonie by Alberto Giacometti, could be enjoyed without pressure. In the Kroller Muller Museum of modern art in the Netherlands, enormous lawns and woods maximized the impact of works like Aristide Maillol’s L’air, and Jacques Lipchitz’s Song of the vowels.
I returned to Australia with a comfortable feeling that the ASV made a very wide spectrum of art welcome here. Emerging sculptors can experiment in classical realism and modern abstract, and combinations, without feeling out of place.
After a year in which the ASV expanded its exhibitions from 3 to 4, returned a new management Committee, and re-wrote its constitution, we turn to a consolidation period. The commitment to 4 exhibitions per annum is being maintained. This newsletter features some background on Committee members. However in the absence of more hands to the wheel some non-exhibition activities may be curtailed. This newsletter contains vacancy notices: it is important that members contribute their bit. Please respond.
Members are reminded of Herring Island exhibition opening 23 January 2009. Entries close 2 January 2009. This is an ideal venue for small indoor sculptures with good presentation conditions, and it is fun to participate.
Please also make responses to Leon Frankcom and/or John Bishop on the membership of the ASV. We need member feedback on whether your preference is for association of exhibiting sculptors, or for an association of members from wherever who are interested in sculpture.
Geoff Williams, Acting President