Luminous is the first exhibition in twenty-five years to feature the National Gallery of Victoria’s outstanding collection of watercolours and gouaches. The exhibition showcases the extraordinary diversity of the medium, with works by fifty artists including Hans Heysen, Albert Namatjira, Joy Hester, Fred Williams and John Brack. The radiant colour and transparent washes of Heysen’s watercolours capture the light and atmosphere of the Australian landscape, and works by modernists Frank Hinder and Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack represent the beauty and rhythm of life in abstract compositions. Also on display are watercolours from the mid-century, when young artists experimented with the medium, mixing it with gouache and other media to create powerful effects in images that reflect the tension and trauma of the war years. The exhibition features abstract compositions by Tony Tuckson, Gunther Christmann and Robert Jacks, portraits and still lives, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Juan Davila, Jon Cattapan and Ricky Swallow.
A range of public programs including talks and conversations led by curators, artists and art historians provides audiences with unique insights into Australian watercolours.