In Arts + Entertainment

Melbourne Curated: Anna Schwartz, Anna Schwartz Gallery

Gallerist Anna Schwartz shares her inside tips for exploring Melbourne.

Anna Schwartz needs no introduction. The renowned Melbourne gallerist has been in the business for 35 years, representing some of the biggest names in contemporary art in Australia.

Her eponymous gallery in Flinders Lane has been at the heart of Melbourne’s art scene since it first opened in 1986, cementing Anna as one of the city’s best-known taste makers.

But ask her to name a highlight of her formidable career thus far, and Anna says she’s already looking to the future.

Anna Schwartz. Photo: Supplied

“Each new exhibition in the gallery is a highlight for me,” she says, although taking emerging Australian artists to the international stage is always up there for her.

“Working with artists who represent Australia in international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale is always exciting.”

Based in Carlton with her husband, property and publishing powerhouse Morry Schwartz, Anna says a typical day usually involves a home cooked meal at the Anna Schwartz Gallery – still nestled amongst the restaurants, bars, boutiques and gallery’s of Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD – with artists, curators or collectors, followed by a night out at an art opening or publishing party, if she’s not dining at one of Melbourne’s best restaurants or curled up in front of the fire with a good book.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Cheese at the Queen Victoria Markets. Photo: QVM

“I often start the day at the Queen Victoria Market and buy produce for dinner at home with my family and friends, and for lunch in the gallery.  We usually share lunch with artists, curators or collectors and the gallery staff always enjoy a home cooked soup!

“The gallery opens at noon and my days in Melbourne are spent there…talking with artists and collectors.  I work with very interesting people and we are always debating and innovating new projects.  I like to spend evenings at home, with a big fire and books, however more often than not there are engagements relating to the art or publishing worlds, which are engaging and fun.”

What do you love most about Melbourne city?

“I like the level of engagement and commitment to ideas in Melbourne. People are serious about art, current affairs, literature, theatre, cinema, music, food and serious about fun. Melbourne is a city where there can be a two block-long queue for a public lecture.”

The best cultural highlights

Melbourne Art Fair takes part in the Southbank Arts Precinct. Photo: Melbourne Art Fair/Facebook

“The Melbourne Festival is a cultural highlight in a city with a very high level of culture, as is the Melbourne Film Festival. The newly announced Melbourne Art Fair at Southbank promises to be a new cultural highpoint!”

The best bars and casual eats

Supernormal in Flinders Lane. Photo: Supernormal

“For a drink, bar Marion in Gertrude Street, and to eat, Supernormal, opposite my gallery in Flinders Lane.”

The best fine dining restaurant

A dish from Vue de monde. Photo: Vue de monde/Facebook

“Definitely Vue de monde. Amazing interior, amazing views and most importantly, amazing food.”

The best places to shop

Clay Heath and Organics. Photo: Clay/Facebook

“In the city, Marais, Bruce, and Commes des Garcons for clothing, and Hill of Content or Readings Bookshop (in Carlton) for books. For food, Queen Victoria Market, Fitzroy’s Meatsmith and Carlton’s Clay Health and Organics.”

The best things to do for free

An impression of the 2017-2019 MPavilion Design by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. Photo: MPavilion/Facebook

“Visit the wonderful private galleries, walk along the river, sit in our beautifully maintained parks, visit our free public libraries and borrow a book you wouldn’t buy. Visit MPavillion in the season (October to February).

The perfect day in Melbourne

Heide Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi/Facebook

“A swim in the Carlton or Collingwood pool, depending on the weather. A spinach and egg panino and fresh orange juice at Carlton Espresso sitting in the sun.  A long visit to Readings Bookshop to see what’s new and add to the pile for the “future”. A visit to galleries, including ACCA, Heide and NGV.

“In the evening; a concert or theatre…either something at Arts House in North Melbourne, MTC or Malthouse. A film at the Nova or Kino unless there’s a French, Italian, Jewish or Spanish film festival on somewhere…then it’s that.”

Published 27 July, 2017