Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Striking oil

A real Australian art experience was had when we went with some friends to see some friends of theirs who ‘had some sort of art connection” Oh, oh.

But as we pull into the driveway we figure this is something more than a connection. The garage is crammed with paintings, and not just inside the garage, they're outside too, leaning against every perpendicular surface. We’re talking huge canvases, and oddly familiar. The artist is Keith Looby, a well-known Sydney painter, and a winner of the Archibald Prize back in the day. He is now in his seventies and a major family storage revamp was in full swing as we arrived. There were paintings everywhere and we were just in time to help stack some of them and carry a few down to the house.

Looby was an artist who used a lot of thick paint and some of the large works weighed a ton (ok maybe a little less than that) so progress was slow. The labels and names on the backs of the canvases showed Lobby had worked with a few dealer galleries in his time and had even parted company with Ray Hughes both men with fiercely held opinions.

The upshot of all this was that we got to see a survey exhibition of Keith Looby when we were expecting a few random prints and maybe an Aboriginal dot painting or two.