Inspired by spring and the natural world, in this issue of NGV Magazine we feature new writing that explores themes of renewal and newness in the world of art and design, from art history through to contemporary art and design.
Design writer, editor and curator Penny Craswell tells the unexpected story of design’s relationship with life and remembrance, while author Eli Giannini explores why we make things and the impact of making, materials and consumption on the world around us. Curator and writer Minhazz Majumdar introduces current Indian artists who carry traditional practices and beliefs into contemporary art; and we get to know Renaissance artist Lavinia Fontana, widely accepted as the first professional female artist, in the cover story by Laurie Benson.
‘Italian artist Lavinia Fontana (1552–1614) is widely recognised as the first professional woman painter to forge a successful career in Europe. This gift by the Felton Bequest to the NGV of her Mystic marriage of St Catherine, c. 1575, brings a new perspective to the NGV’s strong holdings of Italian Baroque paintings and is the earliest work by a woman artist in the Collection.’
By Laurie Benson
DEEP READDesigning the Unknown
‘While death is a common subject for artists, designers are not traditionally associated with such existentially profound subjects. Design’s history is generally much more pragmatic.’
By Penny Craswell
RESEARCHA Golden Opportunity
‘This elaborate work was created by artisans who take immense pride in their skills, which are keeping alive traditional Japanese crafts once thought obsolete. Their extraordinary workmanship can be seen in every aspect of the kai-awase and kai-oke. The finished work is nostalgic and graceful, and embodies the elegant sense of aesthetics cultivated by Japanese culture for over 1000 years.’
By Professor Yamazaki Tatsufmi
CRAFT & DESIGN History in the Making
‘History in the Making‘ is a complex show that focuses our attention on the many issues brought about by mass production and consumerism. It dips into these themes without judgement, for the purpose of encouraging the fruitful dialogue we have with the objects we love or hate.
By Eli Giannini
CURRENT ISSUESChange and continuity in twenty-first century India
‘Interestingly, in the last decade, something has shifted irrevocably in the cultural landscape of India as many artists and artisans are rapidly adapting to a globalised world and expanding their repertoire.’
By Minhazz Majumdar
LIFE & TIMESBerthe Morisot
‘Morisot’s works stood out in 1876 as the only contributions by a woman artist amid the work of eighteen male colleagues. Her position was even more striking in the new Impressionist movement’s first group exhibition, held in 1874, when she was the sole woman exhibiting alongside twenty-nine men.’