By George

The Kelly Gang went to the opening of the George Lambert exhibition at the NGA last night, and didn’t have a camera – not that you’re allowed to take one in – which is a tad sad ‘cos we can’t do a show-and-tell of all our favourite bits; the interplay of the attendees, the behind-the-scene hot action in the gents, the view from the smokers’ circle, etcetera

Anyhoo it was the usual art crowd, peppered thankfully with that handful of people that you’re always happy to catch up with over a tot of  sponsored bar-swill. There was an over-abundance of speeches, of course, including the obligatory spiel from some totally forgettable politician (can’t remember his name, what he said, or even what he looked like… perhaps he was the Minister for the Arts – not a high priority in the Liberal scheme of things.) La Gropp and the Gang had made a prior arrangement to meet for a moment of shared cultural enlightenment, but the throng was so thuck that we somehow managed to circle around and around and miss one another entirely.

The show is fabulous, although if the self-portraits are anything to go by George himself comes across as bit of a pompous fop. It came as no surprise, then, to learn that he had a slightly theatrical manner (although one rather suspects that this might be one hell of an understatement.) Nonetheless he sure could paint. The war paintings and landscapes, most particularly, are utterly marvellous and we simply adore A Sergeant of the Light Horse. Oh, those sun-kissed lashes!!  

It’s an exhibition well worth a squizz, and with any luck it’ll lure people back across the lake to the War Memorial, which is not only currently mounting a Lambert show (and symposium) of its own, but must surely have the best Australian art collection in the nation, never mind the subject matter.

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