MELBOURNE.- Making a mark: prints and drawings gifted by Ian Brown will survey the significant collection of one of the National Gallery of Victorias most generous benefactors, the Reverend Ian Brown.
Over the last forty years Ian Brown has collected a fascinating range of late nineteenth and twentieth-century art, which the NGV has either already received as gifts, or will receive through bequests. In recognition of this, and to explore the development of a personal collection, Making a mark will survey highlights of his collection.
Making a mark will include over seventy prints, drawings and watercolours by many of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Artists represented include Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Colin McCahon, John Perceval, George Baldessin, Juan Davila and Ricky Swallow.
Alisa Bunbury, Curator of Prints & Drawings, NGV said: Making a mark explores the ways in which a superb collection has been formed through one mans keen eye, inquisitive mind and deep love of art. Ian Brown now wishes to share his enjoyment in these works with a broader public,
Private collections have always formed a key role in the development of museum collections, each reflecting the interests, passions, career and beliefs of the individual. This exhibition explores Ian Browns choices and motivations for collecting art, together with the benefits for individuals and institutions of collecting art for enjoyment.
Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said the Gallery has benefited greatly from Ians generosity over the years.
Ians first donation to the NGV was in 1984 and since then he has made many generous gifts of prints, drawings and photographs. Among the many and varied works are Jasper Johns lithograph Two maps I, Gordon Walters drawing Tamaki II and an early Margaret Preston woodcut. It is inspiring to reflect upon what is possible without necessarily spending huge amounts of money it takes passion, commitment and a sure eye.
Ian Browns interest in the visual arts grew from an exhibition he organised in 1967 called Art and the Church, which included work by many of the leading artists working then in Melbourne. The exhibition received a complimentary review by Patrick McCaughey in The Age.
In this same year Ian Brown began collecting works on paper, fascinated by the immediacy of expression and the connection with the hand of the artist. This interest is apparent in works throughout his collection; many of the artists represented are known for the supreme quality and inventiveness of their draughtsmanship. The affordability and transportability of works on paper was also a key factor. From 1970 to 1972 Ian Brown travelled in Europe and began collecting international art; he later became a dedicated collector of New Zealand art.
The Reverend Ian Brown was ordained an Anglican minister in 1962, and retired in 2002. He served in parishes in Croydon, Eltham, Glen Iris and Richmond, as well as in Sydney, Paris, London and New Jersey.
Making a mark: prints and drawings gifted by Ian Brown will be on at NGV International until 8 February 2009.