The Finkelstein Files: A Few of My Favourite Things!!!

In the last post for the year, 2017 has been a rollercoaster ride for many.

I for one, am looking forward to a complete summer break with my favourite little peeps, my twin 8 year old’s.

 It’s all about having fun and being in the moment, taking our time, and few plans except soaking up the much-needed sunshine and feeling the sand between our toes in between bouts of body surfing.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Thierry B Fine Art‘s valued clientele for their ongoing support throughout 2017.

We’d also like to thank our behind-the scenes-colleagues who logistically make it all possible to keep up the pace, as one of Australia’s busiest commercial art galleries.

Here are a few of my favourite things below!!!


As we countdown the last 6 days until we close the gallery for our break, our gallery hours include Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm & Sunday 12pm – 5pm or by appointment. Re-opening the 15th January, if you are in town come by and check out our new stockroom full of beautiful paintings.

Have a happy holiday with your loved ones of near and far, and return next year in good health, ready for an even bigger and better 2018!!

Lots of love, Thierry & Vicki


The Finkelstein Files: The Art of Michelle Breton

Caravonesque,  Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

Michelle Breton’s ouevre relates to deep inward feelings rather than appealing to the intellect –  a visceral expression of motifs. Organic is form and matter, the works are resolved instinctively and intuitively. Filled with movement and chaos and control, Breton is a master of the abstract landscape.
“There comes a point in the painting when it reveals itself to me, and it’s at that moment I seem to know what it wants to be and what I need to do. Before that I’m it’s slave, making marks, throwing paint and even sometimes  eliminating everything,then taking stock of what has occurred and launching back in to it, allowing anything to happen. This process can take days, weeks or even months. We work together then it releases, I let go and voila! It’s a relationship that can be tumultuous at times, but it’s a dance that I never tire of, it is my joy and I couldn’t live without it, it’s my passion and my love.”
Thierry B has a strong relationship with artist Michelle Breton, showcasing her paintings for the past decade, both in High St, Prahran and now in the new purpose-built space at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra. We have just received a new collection of canvases into the stockroom which are available to view.


Apres Midi D’uns Founa, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 152 x 137cm.


Eclipse Telegraph 23, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 183 x 152cm.


Octobre A Ceret, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 152 x 137cm.


Presque Perdu, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 183 x 152cm.


Coming Home, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 91 x 91cm.

Chant Du Midi, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 152 x 137cm.


The paintings are currently available at Thierry B Fine Art, 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.

Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm or by appointment.

Thierry B: 0413 675 466 or Vicki: 0404 861 438.


Vicki xx


The Finkelstein Files: The Bold & The Beautiful!


The Turning 2014, oil on linen, 183 x 153cm P.O.A
MC-2-Plummet 153x138

Plummet, Oil on Linen, 153 x 138cm

Andrew McIlroy is one of a new wave of highly regarded Australian Romantic artists. His elemental paintings are evocative visions that are deeply personal and embedded with individual experiences. Painted in strong saturated tones, they beautifully portray expressive seascapes with tumultuous seas and stormy skies. If the essence of McIlroy’s paintings went only this far, they could be viewed as outward looking, non-sensual depictions of nature. However in Tempest, his latest body of work there is something deeper going on. From their composition and palette, the paintings capture the artist’s mood where he promotes a strong sense of emotion, illuminating that the forces of nature are still ever present.

MC-3-For a moment 138 x 153cm

For A Moment, Oil on Linen, 138 x 153cm

From his studio, located in a century old rubber-glove factory in Richmond in Melbourne’s inner-city, McIlroy immerses himself in imagined seascapes. These elicitations have their basis in reality but are produced more from a memory. They are deeply sensual and at times heightened by disturbing experiences that capture both the ‘unseen’ and the ‘known’. See Andrew talking about his practice here.

MC-5-Sirens call 152 x 183cm

 Siren’s Call, Oil on Linen, 152 x 183cm

‘My paintings are deeply personal, a metaphor for the fears and anxieties that gripped me as a child. I know I am not alone in these life experiences so I hope to emotionally engage and connect with the viewer using familiar images and universal experiences.’ Andrew Mc.Ilroy.

MC-6-Into the abyss 200x200cm

 Into the Abyss, Oil on Linen, 200 x 200cm

After acclaimed sell-out shows for years, Andrew McIlroy’s collections are all Homer’s epic Odyssey meets the Australian coastline, where tempting pleasures and dangers, beauty and treachery, sit side by side. Watch Andrew speak on his modern-meets-tradition practice when  interviewed by SBS.

For further pricing and commission enquiries, please contact Vicki Finkelstein on: +404861438.


The Finkelstein Files: The Sublime Ms.Shaw

Artist Kate Shaw has an enduring fascination with interplanetary colonisation and what it might mean. Through a series of vibrant, psychedelic landscapes, she suggests these yearnings are a complicated combination of hope for new beginnings and a sense of hopelessness about a planet we seem certain we’ll lose.


“My practice re-interprets notions of what constitutes landscape painting, both within an art historical context and a contemporary social context. The paintings deal with the tensions and dichotomies in both the depiction of the natural world and our relationship with it. I am currently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction. The intention is to reflect upon the contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it. My paintings aim to convey ideas of nature, alchemy and creation by operating on one level as a landscape another as abstraction.”


In Kate Shaw’s work what we see, and what in fact are facing, are two distinctly different things. A viewer may immediately recognise a glacier, an alpine ridge, a snow-capped mountain, but we are equally witnessing a montage of abstract chemical reactions.

In a Rorsach test a patient is gently encouraged to make sense out of abstractions, to see a rabbit in a black and white ink-blot. In experimental pursuits in the 1960s patients were administered a healthy dose of LSD to respond to these monochromatic abstractions. It’s not hard to imagine the poten- tial hallucinogenic blast of such a process. The Surrealists were also enamoured of such shifting notions of reality, utilising their technique of ‘de- calcomania’ in order to find subconscious form in abstract materials.


Shaw’s work has a similar interaction with the viewer, the patterns we recognise through her deft manipulation of coloured chemicals leads us into a world we immediately recognise, even if that world is pure fantasy.

This realm of signs becoming synonymous with what may be dubbed the ‘real world’ was best ar- ticulated by Roland Barthes in his exploration of semiotics. Signs and perception become blurred, the same way a swoosh on a sneaker now clearly reads as the word Nike. In Shaw’s work the notion of ‘landscape as product’, as an inevitably read sign amidst abstraction, blurs reality.


What makes adroit patrons think Kate Shaw’s works are worth acquiring? That’s in the eye of each beholder, but I’m enthused because her paintings, and now videos, signify the spirit of the emerging Earth observations (EO) movement, where space imaging and sensing technologies are ubiquitously deployed to monitor and manage environments. (The goal of climate scientists is to build a global ‘autopiloting’ system to answer Buckminster Fuller’s 1968 call for ‘an operating manual for Spaceship Earth’.)


See Kate’s AUSiMED art work here

august 2015

The Finkelstein Files: Beyond The Woods

If trees are carriers of symbolic possibilities, the exhibition Beyond the Trees is a powerful and poetic response to our emotive connections to our planet. Climate change, the environment and the preservation of diversity are ‘hot’ topics. The life sustaining essence of trees is explored deftly by Victor Majzner who eschews these living monuments ideals of endurance and longevity. Often emblematic of patience and wisdom, dozens of canvases stand like proud sentinels along the gallery walls of the light-drenched Langford 120 in North Melbourne.

vic-Looking into myself, after Felix N 2013 Acrylic on canvas 92 x 92 cm

Beyond the Woods sign-posts a sharp twist in the tale of this image-maker of ideas of the Divine. An innate colourist, Majzner’s narratives intrigue and are full of pathos. Screams at the world mingle with recurring  faces reiterating a human helplessness –  a search for salvation? Many questions are raised without resolution as the trees sit expectantly, quietly on the walls – contemplating and confronting. Looking Into Myself, after Felix N, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm (above).


vic-Portal to memory, after Ezra K 2013 Acrylic on canvas 92 x 92 cm

Portal to Memory, After Ezra K, 2013, 92 x 92cm (above), reflects two strong entertwined trees in a puddle of water – brothers who are emotionally connected or lovers? The connection is powerful and strong, a reflection as a symbolic portal to a memory from the past. A thought bubble hovers offering comfort, that these two souls are still looking after each other.

Vic-2 Vic-1

Much of Majzners’ writings on his work are encapsulated in an insanely beautiful box-set featuring a complete catalogue of works and an additional visual diary filled with studio insights and authored offerings on his mid-career trajectory. Designed by the artist’s equally talented son, Andrew of Paper, Stone, Scissors fame, its clear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!


vic-Strange fruit 2013 Acrylic on canvas 92 x 92 cm

The above image lends its’ title from one of the most moving of Billie Holiday’s songs, Strange Fruit.  The gigantic tree, a universe of life has from time to time become the conduit for violence, racism and death. Sanctified by manmade laws and attitudes of power where the humanity of ‘the other’ has been degraded to a possession, only to be disposed of at the racist whim of the plantation master of the KKK gang in the American South up to the 60’s.


vic-Sky_night tree, after Alex S 2012 Acrylic on canvas 152 x 137 cm

Victor explains that Alex Skovron’s poem The Sky Tree was the starting inspiration for this painting, “Memories of fairy tales from my childhood, of dark forests where miraculous adventures took place were other inspirational sources. Out of darkness /’nothing’/chaos energy swarms into a vortex that eventually forms into branches of a tree, like lightening rods of light coming down to ‘earth’ with lights at each braces’ extremity, illuminating / suggesting a spiritual dimension as its source. Through the branches, at night can be seen small villages with their distinguished church spires. These villages are separated by dark forests and by meandering country roads and lanes illuminated by ‘golden’ lights – magic pervades.”



The roots of tradition and story-telling are embedded firmly into Majzner’s earth and the longer you spend gazing around the collection, the tighter the grip becomes. As he shows me around ‘the cage’ studio (above) – two days after a first viewing, these images resonate still, in my minds’ eye. Each with a story to tell and a potential lesson to unfurl.


The Finkelstein Files at sea with Graeme Altmann


Well hello Mr. Altmann! It always feels like I am visiting an old mate, when Graeme and I hang out together – that’s just the kind of genial guy he is. The Highett based Arthouse Studio is home to a swag of mid-career artists all busily beavering away. The 1950’s Madmen-esque brick building affords this compendium of painters, sculptors and textile artists a place to lodge ideas, check in, share coffee and conversation – whilst maintaining privacy.

GA-2His latest foray into boat-based miniatures from found objects hark back to nostalgic boyhood times of tinkering and creating something out of seemingly nothing. A few months back, Altmann exhibited his latest collection at Lorne’s QDOS gallery and relaxed grounds with his old mate, Graeme Wilkie. Sculptures all sold, Altmann likes the idea that the new owners will place their boats in a pride of place, perhaps a family heirloom to pass down to the next generation.


A cornucopia of collectibles, the suudio has the most superb natural light blasting through its’ multi-paned glass windows, on a clear day offering sea views. It looks similar to last time I visited, yet as Altmann pulls out canvases of many sizes, I can see he is as busy as ever.










altmann-5-CollageAltmann’s images are often suffused with maritime and coastal themes, wild and uncensored in their raw power. The nephew of a seafarer, he once told me the tale as a young lad, he eagerly awaited the return of his beloved uncle  upon the jetty on a blustery day – to discover that he had drowned and wouldn’t ever be returning home.


The motif of a a levitating boat body, almost coffin-like in its sombreness, continues to bob hopefully in search of the end of its voyage – still seeking completion. Sometimes a lone figure is seen juxtaposed against the shadowy outline of a dog, a symbol of unerring fidelity and loyalty.

“The floating boat captures the sense of being caught between two worlds; where we are, and we feel we should be. This distance from our desires can be a good thing as it forces us to look inward and reflect upon what it is we are seeking and what makes us fulfilled.” Graeme Altmann.


 For all enquiries regarding artwork by artist, please contact Vicki on: 61+404861438.