William and Rene Ritchie Gallery – Australian Art 1960 to 1985
This room displays artwork from a time
of great social and political upheaval. Artists were looking to New
York as their cultural focus and were interpreting Pop Art and
Photo-realism, and experimenting with Hard Edge Abstraction.
In 1967, when James Mollison was
appointed the Gallery's first professional Director, he started to
acquire work that was at the very forefront of Australian art
practice, exposing Ballarat locals and visitors to art that
questioned, initiated discussion and forced us to look at
ourselves. Large paintings were again the norm with commercial
buildings booming and art needed for large spaces.
Like the Powell Gallery, this room was
created as an exhibition space in 1987. It commemorates William and
Rene Ritchie, local business people and keen art collectors. Their
son Blair bequeathed many of the works in their collection to the
Gallery in 1998.