Wednesday, 20 April 2016

# 14 - Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one big beast of an art gallery.  It sprawls over four floors, including, bizarrely, an 'Art Zone' on lower level 2.  I'm not sure what the rest of the paintings, sculptures, pottery and photographs in the rest of the gallery are if they're not art.  I'm not going to lie to you though, I haven't really lost any sleep thinking about it.

I think the temporary exhibit was something to do with pop?
A huge art gallery generally requires a big building, and that is indeed the case with the Art Gallery of NSW.  The building is located next to The Domain, which is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens.  It's a nice building from the outside, and given its relative isolation from other buildings, it is quite striking.

The main entrance is on the ground floor, with one floor above, which I think is usually reserved for temporary exhibitions, and two floors below.  It has every type of painting I think you could desire, but I suppose there could be some people who desire some obscure forms of painting that are not represented here.  It certainly has paintings from a wide range of eras, from a wide range of locations.  There are some of those massive paintings that take up an entire wall, and plenty of modern and contemporary pieces for fans of that type of thing.

For those who struggle to enjoy four floors of art without some form of rest break, there is a cafe, restaurant and a Japanese tea house.  Which is my favourite kind of tea house.  More importantly, on a Wednesday night, they have a pop up bar, where you can indulge in a cheeky beer while pretending to be cultured.  You can't bring your drink into the galleries, but there was a band playing in the lobby when we were there, so there was something to keep us entertained while we lurked around with our drinks.

Yeah?  Well there will be no me beyond this point either then
My overall summary of the Art Gallery of NSW is that it is a big, comprehensive collection of art, in a convenient and attractive location.  If you're not particularly arty, the Wednesday night pop up bar is a good chance to sound cultured to your friends without having to actually look at any art.

Do unappreciative philistines like me spoil art galleries for the rest?  Or is it great that art galleries are offering an opportunity for non arty types to get a glimpse of some fancy paintings in between their beers?  As always, please leave a comment or question below.

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