Saturday, January 13, 2007

Exhibition: Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre

A much better than usual review of an exhibition:
"The marvellous capacity of Egyptian carvers for convincing illusionism was not intended to show off technical virtuosity. Rather, an accurate portrayal was necessary if a statue was to fulfil its immortalising function. To depict something, or to write it, was to give it existence. This permeable line, this shimmering interplay between reality and the human modes of describing it is one of the most fascinating aspects of ancient Egypt.
So preoccupied with death were the Egyptians that we tend to think of them as morbid. But death is the source of all paradox, and it may be that the more you love life the more preoccupied you become with death. The Egyptians, I wager, loved life.
Journey to the Afterlife, the exhibition of Egyptian antiquities from the Louvre at the National Gallery in Canberra, is a marvellous show. A genuine blockbuster (never before have I seen such queues at the NGA), it manages to avoid seeming ditsy or soulless in the manner of so many blockbusters. It does not try to cower us into veneration with pyramids, temples and sphinxes. Instead, it tells a story. The story is tightly focused, sometimes arcane but never less than fascinating."
See the above page for the full story.

Journey to the Afterlife: Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre is showing at:
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, until 25 February 2007
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, March 21 to July 1 2007
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, July 21 to October 28 2007

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