Guggenheim Collection

Monday, 1 November 2010


April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

-T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922.

* * *

My weekend consisted of Mondrian, Rothko, Ernst, Kandinsky, Picasso, Pollock and Duchamp. I saw, with great excitement, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice exhibition, which is showing exclusively at The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Lucky us! We rarely get such good exhibitions here, so I soaked it all in as much as possible.

I have to say, that while I found the themes of dreams and the subconscious all very interesting, I was particularly moved by the pieces that dealt with war and the Holocaust. I must have stood in front of a painting depicting the devastation of the Holocaust for about twenty minutes, just thinking. It reminded me of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

If you're in Perth, go see it. It's a rare opportunity to see artwork that doesn't reach our shores very often.

The beautiful, haunting image above is by free bliss.


The above fore-mentioned. said...

Wow, that is exciting! Lucky you. Does the Western Australia gallery still have the 10 panel work by Brett Whiteley that he made in America? I can't think of the name of it, but I read once upon a time that is was in WA - wonder if it is still there?

a. said...

ah! 'waste land' always reminds me of my freshman year in college.

secret, fragile skies said...

Beautiful post.

Christine said...

Sounds lovely, wish I could see it. Love t.s. eliot as well. Have a great week! xx

Vanessa said...

It's funny because I've just visited the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice and absolutely loved it. Truly one of my favourite places in a palazzo on the Grand Canal. Out the front is rather explicit statue of a horserider (I'll post a photo soon) and all the tourists got excited about it. I love this photo and the poem is one of my favourites. Wonderful post!

Sundari said...

beautiful post, Hila. It must be so interesting to be inside your mind. I picture you as a writer who would one day open a bookshop with wooden floorboards and run ballet workshops upstairs.
This exhibition seems very nice. It looks like it's time for me to go back to Perth for a bit! :)

Kate said...

Lovely words, lovely photo.

Marinka said...

Great painting, by reading your words I really hoped my week could have looked like yours, I really miss watching great masterpieces !

danica said...

i am looking forward to a free weekend when i can go and see this :)

odessa said...

love that painting above. your weekend sounds rich and inspiring! love t.s. eliot too. xxo.

louise said...

Sounds like a wonderful exhibition. What a perfect way to spend you weekend, in the company of such artists. xo lj

Allie said...

Aw, I love that collection. If you ever are able to go to it in Venice, do! It's a beautiful space.

hila said...

Cheers dears :)

the above fore-mentioned: hmm, I really don't know, sorry!

sundari: aww, you're sweet. I'm not sure it's that interesting inside my mind, more like exhausting :) But I do like the sound of a bookstore and ballet classes.