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Christmas cheer at the Art Gallery (By Elle Cahill)

Christmas cheer at the Art Gallery (By Elle Cahill)

Women in Media wrapped up another great year with Christmas celebrations at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

The evening provided an opportunity for more than 100 women involved in Perth media to come together to have a drink and a chat, enjoy an exclusive fashion show and view the first collaborative exhibition between AGWA and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters.

The guests wandered at leisure through the Picasso to Warhol exhibition viewing artwork from some of the most significant artists of the modern age including Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian and Andy Warhol, who not only created art but changed society’s view of what could be considered art.

Picasso to Warhol is the first exhibition of the MoMA series, which by mid-2015 will have featured six exhibitions exclusively to AGWA. The exhibitions have been carefully chosen to feature different mediums and feature well-known artists in an intimate environment and AGWA is lucky enough to be the only venue across Australia to receive all six.

WIM committee member Victoria Laurie spoke about her favourite piece in the collection, a sculpture by Constantin Brancusi, The Newborn.

“Never before had I seen a sort of perfectly distilled shape of new life,” Laurie said. “I thought it was really quite an exquisite thing and the wonderful thing about AGWA is that you get to see it so close.”

Laurie also discussed Warhol’s infamous work saying “contrary to what has been said in the past about artists like Warhol being con-artists who picked up a piece of commercial advertising and turned it into art” to see it up close it became obvious that they are in fact art and should be considered so.

AGWA curator Lucy Harper told the WIMmers gathered about her work in collaboration with MoMA and what could be expected of the Picturing New York exhibition which would start in January 2013.

“In total there will be over 150 [photographs], predominantly black and white but also in colour, by about 90 artists,” Harper said.

“The chronology covers a little over a hundred year period, beginning with works by Alfred Steiglitz, who some call the father of modern photography, in the late 19th Century and conclude with fabulous contemporary works by artists including Lee Friedlander and Michael Wesley.”

The exhibition captures the spirit of New York City and the unique people living there and follows the development of modern photography and growth of New York City.
“We’ve selected three short films by artists represented in the show and we’re also looking at developing an interactive iPad program,” Harper said.

Harper said that AGWA were trying to “provide many different ways that people can access the exhibition”.

In addition to the artwork, Women in Media guests were treated to a fashion show by WIM sponsor and fashion designer Petra Vanessie.

Petra showcased her latest collection in an entertaining catwalk show that saw five models wearing stunning Petra Vanessie designs being styled on stage from daytime sophistication to evening glamour.