Evan’s corner: The Brisbane art scene

Written by: Evan Lowenstein
On the weekend of the 1st of December 2017 I had the opportunity to explore the art scene in and around Brisbane.
As well as viewing the stunning Gerhard Richter show and, in complete contrast, the Kusama show at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), I visited most of the commercial galleries in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
Amongst the featured galleries that were on my itinerary was Milani Gallery with some marvellous larger than life size drawings by Vernon Ah Kee. Most of these works had been sold for quite handsome sums.
Jan Manton Art had some wonderful portraits by Keith Burt. The Philip Bacon Galleries had, as usual, some wonderful museum quality pieces, such as work by Kenneth Macqueen and Michael Zavros and assorted old masters.
There was quite a sprinkling of varied work at other galleries, such as Edwina Corlette Gallery and Jan Murphy Gallery.
At FireWorks Gallery Michael Eather’s warehouse -like approach to exhibiting art is extraordinarily appealing to many art patrons, who are searching for exquisite examples of contemporary Indigenous art.
Although the Brisbane scene is much smaller than Melbourne’s and/or Sydney’s, I found that its concentration in a couple of suburbs has the advantage that these galleries can select from the best artists that are available. This has led to some very high quality shows that appeared to be selling well at handsome prices.
On the downside, the closure of Heiser Gallery is a disappointing event. Bruce’s gallery always had a great reputation for selling interesting and popular art. For me a trip to Brisbane was never complete without a visit to his space to experience his good humour and look at some interesting art.