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Melbourne Art Guide - December

Melbourne Art Guide - December

As summertime begins in Melbourne, many of the smaller galleries finish their last exhibitions for the year before taking a long holiday, while the larger institutions are opening their summer blockbuster exhibitions just in time for the holiday crowds. This year is no exception. The Heidi Museum of Modern Art is presenting Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy, a large survey exhibition of one of Australia’s leading female artists. The National Gallery of Victoria is presenting the inaugural NGV Triennial, an exhibition focused on art and design in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is presenting Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism a large group exhibition surveying a diverse number of artists within a feminist scope. 


I.

Exhibition: Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy
Artist: Jenny Watson
Venue: Heide Museum of Modern Art
Dates: Until March 4th, 2018

 

Jenny Watson is a leading Australian artist whose conceptual painting practice spans more than four decades. Jenny Watson: Fabric of Fantasy is curated by Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Anna Davis and the survey features works from the 1970s to the present, including examples of Watson’s early realist paintings and drawings, and a number of key series of works on fabric. Many of Watson’s works feature self-portraits and alter egos, a cast of longhaired women, horses, ballerinas, rock guitarists and cats, who enact life’s ongoing psychodramas. 

Jenny Watson, Self Portrait as a Narcotic, 1986, oil, ink, animal glue and collage of paper on linen, courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, copyright the  artist.

Jenny Watson, Self Portrait as a Narcotic, 1986, oil, ink, animal glue and collage of paper on linen, courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, copyright the

artist.

II.
 
Exhibition: NGV Triennial  
Artists: over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries  
Venue: National Gallery of Victoria
Dates: December 15th, 2017 to April 15th, 2018

 

Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world of art and design, across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives. The NGV Triennial is a celebration of contemporary art and design practice that traverses all four levels of NGV International, as well as offering a rich array of public programs to coincide with the exhibition. 

Ntozakhe II, Parktown 2016. Courtesy the artist and STEVENSON gallery, Johannesburg.

Ntozakhe II, Parktown 2016. Courtesy the artist and STEVENSON gallery, Johannesburg.

III.

Exhibition: Unfinished Business  
Artists: over 50 various artists
Venue: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art  
Dates: December 15th 2017 to March 25th, 2018

 

Asking why feminism is still relevant, necessary and critical, Unfinished Business is a major exhibition conceived to animate these discussions around a selection of artistic practices. Adopting a collaborative, polyphonic form which encourages diverse voices, practices and debates, Unfinished Business presents new commissions and recent work alongside selected historical projects, programs of film and performance, and a publication. The exhibition aims to stimulate new debates and discussions around the ‘unfinished business’ of feminism today. The curatorial team for this exhibition includes: Max Delany, Annika Kristensen, Paolo Balla, Julie Ewington, Vikki McInnes, and Elvis Richardson .

Sarah Goffman, I am with you 2017 (detail), cardboard, permanent marker, approx. 7.0 x 7.0 m. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Andrew Curtis

Sarah Goffman, I am with you 2017 (detail), cardboard, permanent marker, approx. 7.0 x 7.0 m. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Andrew Curtis

Banner image: Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy, installation view.

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Melbourne Art Guide - November

Melbourne Art Guide - November

This month in Melbourne it is all about female artists. A solo exhibition by a young female artist Ruth O’Leary about her new life as a mother is being presented at C3 Art Space. A larger show at Neon Parc in Brunswick includes two established artists Mira Gojak and Elizabeth Newman, a formal pairing that sees organic large scale sculptural forms meld with paintings that vary from soft to dark hues. And finally, a group exhibition curated by Julia Murphy that examines the concept of our environment, both natural and constructed, through the work of six female artists being presented at The Honeymoon Suite. 


I.

Artist: Ruth O’Leary  
Exhibition: MILF  
Venue: C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford  
Dates: until November 19th, 2017  


Ruth O’Leary’s practice can most readily be described as autobiographical. She is the consistent subject of within her work, which employs her own body across performance, photography, video and painting. Her work is often labelled as feminist – perhaps because her practice is inherently performative her female form becomes an overt site of exploration. However, Ruth resists this label, partly due to feminisms cultural popularity in 2017 but, also, because it is limiting. It is about her, and she just so happens to be a woman. Ruth’s new body of work in the exhibition MILF has been created in the past months of her recent foray into motherhood. Her son Apollo was born less than a year ago and this new chapter of her life has brought with it powerful and unprecedented change to her life. MILF examines the relationship between a mother, an artist and her child. In this new body of work, which includes painting and photography, Ruth investigates her transgressive and enchanting experience of motherhood. 

Photo courtesy Ruth O’Leary.

Photo courtesy Ruth O’Leary.


II.

Artists: Mira Gojak and Elizabeth Newman  
Exhibition: Mira Gojak/Elizabeth Newman
Venue: Neon Parc, Brunswick  
Dates:  Until December 16th, 2017


This exhibition has been curated to tease out formal and conceptual concerns in each artists' work. Mira Gojak’s practice incorporates sculpture, installation, and drawing. Both her drawings and immersive three-dimensional sculptures are characterised by lyrical lines which convey a sense of rhythm and movement, whilst investigating form, volume and space. As such, she has described her work as bodily gestures that express the tension between two actions: to expand and extend out into the world, and to contract and retreat. Gojak exhibits two large sculptures which spread throughout the gallery space. Elizabeth Newman’s practice encompasses paintings, works on paper, photographs and ready-to wear garments. Featured in this exhibition are new paintings and fabric works. Her paintings question the parameters and definitions of the medium. They are opaque, deliberately being devoid of any subject matter or conscious intention, often engaging only with the language of painting itself, as while they refer to, and suggest traditions of modernist painting, they deliberately fail to live up to its perfection and enlightened ideals. 

Photo: Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman,Installation view. Courtesy of Neon Parc.

Photo: Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman,Installation view. Courtesy of Neon Parc.


III.

Artists: Thea Jones, Noriko Nakamura, Virginia Overell, Lucreccia Quintanilla, Ella Sowinska, Mashara Wachjudy  
Exhibition: everything spring
Curator: Julia Murphy  
Venue: The Honeymoon Suite, Brunswick  
Dates: November 18th, 2017   


everything spring is a group exhibition that consider the idea of our environment. Environment is understood here in an expanded sense, encompassing the spaces that we occupy in urban and constructed settings, and the ecology of the natural world. Social structures and dynamics are embedded within this conception of place. Reflecting upon our fragmented, often distracted relationships with out surroundings, and the fraught experience of attempting to understand global environmental change, the exhibition proposes the potential for renegotiating a more stable sense of place within our environment, through the practices of six local artists. The exhibition includes sculpture, photography and video work, made either from environmental materials or reflecting upon how artificially constructed our environments have become.  

Photo: Lucreccia Quintanilla, If you close your eyes you might see what is really there – Merri Creek Spring, 2017, sand, weeds, broken iPhone, clay and gouache and sound composition, dimensions variable. Courtesy of André Piguet and The Honeymoon Suite.

Photo: Lucreccia Quintanilla, If you close your eyes you might see what is really there – Merri Creek Spring, 2017, sand, weeds, broken iPhone, clay and gouache and sound composition, dimensions variable. Courtesy of André Piguet and The Honeymoon Suite.

Melbourne Art Guide - October

Melbourne Art Guide - October

I.

Exhibition: Coney Island  
Artists: John Aslanidis, Angela Brennan, Sadie Chandler, Renee Cosgrave, David Harley, Matthew Johnson, Wilma Tabacco  
Venue: Counihan Gallery
Dates: Until October 29th


Coney Island presents artists working with the language of abstract painting. Curator Jane O’Neill has brought in artists from various stages in their careers, for example established abstract painter Angela Brennan showing alongside mid-career painter Renee Cosgrave. Jane sees each artist tackle the project of abstraction in an entirely personal way, building upon his or her own history of looking and making work. While recognizing each artist’s individual approach to abstraction, the exhibition also celebrates shared interests; between consistent patterning and loose compositions; between hard-edged painting and softer bruised lines. Just as we are drawn to the flickering lights and optical illusions fabricated in amusement parks, Coney Island designates the gallery as a space for the reception of lights, colours and lines. 

Image: Renee Cosgrave, Tribal Lung 2015. oil on wood, 40 x 30 cm.  Courtesy of the artist. 

Image: Renee Cosgrave, Tribal Lung 2015. oil on wood, 40 x 30 cm.  Courtesy of the artist. 


II.

Exhibition: The Small Sword  
Artist: Brent Harris  
Venue: Tolarno Galleries  
Dates: Until November 4th


Brent Harris’ paintings and works on paper are brooding, dripping swamplands delineated in the most meticulous way.  In Harris’ paintings, pictorial elements appear and compositions evolve through process-based methods. Elements of his compositions are built upon or worked over: for example, a smudge may develop into a figure, or be painted away. For his new exhibition The Small Sword, Harris presents a series of eleven new paintings where flat delineated areas of colour, intuitive mark making and figuration borne with a graphic sensibility form tight yet fluidly organic compositions. The figuration is barely realist - emergent imagery plays with symbolic meaning and various narratives related to our unconscious emerge but remain contingent.  

Image: Brent Harris, the small sword, installation view. © Tolarno Galleries 2017.  Exhibition: dissolve  Artist: Adam John Cullen  Venue: Gertrude Glasshouse  Dates: 7 – 28 October

Image: Brent Harris, the small sword, installation view. © Tolarno Galleries 2017.  Exhibition: dissolve  Artist: Adam John Cullen  Venue: Gertrude Glasshouse  Dates: 7 – 28 October

 

III.

Exhibition: Dissolve  
Artist: Adam John Cullen  
Venue: Gertrude Glasshouse  
Dates: October 7th to October 28th, 2017


Gertrude Contemporary is a respected non-profit art gallery and artist studio complex that has been supporting emerging and experimental art practice in Melbourne for over 30 years. Their competitive and sought after studio program offers sixteen non-residential studio spaces to artists on two-year tenures. In 2011, Gertrude Contemporary opened a smaller gallery in Collingwood called Gertrude Glasshouse, which focuses on presenting solo exhibitions by artists that are part of their studio program. One of the current studio artists – Adam John Cullen – will be exhibiting in October. Adam works with sculpture, often employing industrial materials in new and experimental ways – for example, pouring concrete into molds that solidify as forms sometimes mimicking objects that exist in the real world. Often reusing old works within new works, his process is gritty, mixing different textures and resolving each work by being open to chance occurrences that play out with the materials construction and deconstruction. Cullen’s material investigations engage with ideas about consumption and waste, and his sculptural works and installations are often multi-layered and compelling.

Image: Adam John Cullen, Certain Remnants, installation view, Primavera 2017: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2017, hydrostone, plaster, oxide, cotton, marble, limestone, image courtesy the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia © the artist, photograph: Jessica Maurer

Image: Adam John Cullen, Certain Remnants, installation view, Primavera 2017: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2017, hydrostone, plaster, oxide, cotton, marble, limestone, image courtesy the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia © the artist, photograph: Jessica Maurer

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Banner image: Angela Brennan, An Open Future 2012. Oil on linen, 180 x 220 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne.


 

 

 

 

Melbourne Art Guide - September

Melbourne Art Guide - September

Earlier weeks in September have been a little quieter than usual in Melbourne. There have been art fairs, events and exhibitions up in Sydney, so much of the Melbourne art world has been interstate either participating or viewing all that is on offer. Nevertheless, this was only one week during September, so there has still be some exceptional exhibitions on in Melbourne during this month. Heidi Museum of Modern art is presenting an extensive survey on Australian artists from different generations engaging with artistic sensibilities rooted in Constructivism, an exceptional solo exhibition by an earlier career female artist Isadora Vaughan at The Honeymoon Suite and a tight exhibition at Bus Projects by Daisy Watkins-Harvey. 

I. 

Exhibition: Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art
Artist: over seventy Australian artists
Venue: Heidi Museum of Modern Art  
Dates: until 8th October  


This extensive survey of over seventy artists explores how Australian artists have responded to Constructivism art movement and illustrates an enduring call upon Australian artistic experimentation from the 1930s to the present day. Starting from the early influence of British constructivism on Australian painters and sculptors of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the exhibition traces a growing awareness of Russian Constructivism among artists of later generations through to contemporary practices. In keeping with the Constructivist impetus towards an integration of ideas across all the art forms, the display includes painting and sculpture, video and photography, the graphic arts as well as theatre and costume design by visual artists. Works by wide array of Australian artists Ralph Balson, Frank Hinder, Inge King, Gunter Christmann, George Johnson, Robert Owen, Rose Nolan, Justene Williams and Zoë Croggon, among many others are shown alongside those by key proponents of the original movement, such as Russian artists Rodchenko, Malevich, El Lissitzky and Alexandra Exter from Russia, and British artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth.

1. Heidi Museum of Modern Art. Artwork by Esther Stewart. Photo by Christian Cappuro.jpg

II.

Exhibition: Recalictrant Bodies
Artist: Isadora Vaughan
Venue: The Honeymoon Suite  
Dates: until 23rd September  


Recalcitrant Bodies is a sculptural installation by Isadora Vaughan, which includes individual works and text by Clementine Edwards, Debris Facility, Amanda Horowitz and Aodhan Madden. Spanning across the entire gallery, Vaughan utilises steel, ceramic and glass to build a ground across the space, one that houses tender, sculptural manifestations of an imagined body’s interior. A poem by Clementine Edwards plays through earbuds strung up and threaded between a loose mobile of beeswax in the shape of a flying, mollusc-like coat hanger. 

The poem charts a non-linear experience of violence. Textile and sculptural works by Amanda Horowitz draw, tape, glue, drag, burn, and prick pictures onto bodies. She disrupts the pattern or silhouette of cloth and readymade clothing, creating costumes and backdrops for a violently stylish theatre diorama - a cape that can be worn slung across the face of power. Circling around the space, Aodhan Madden contributes a series of small texts, dissolving, weeping, moving towards absorption. In 2016 Debris Facility made a film of a performance with Vaughan’s installation Cunjevoi exhibited at Station Gallery, Melbourne in 2016. Here, the film will be represented, absorbed, reiterating the messy lines of authorship and further subverting any claims of ownership that the individual works might once have made.Recalcitrant Bodies wills felt bodies out of a recipe of dissimilar ingredients, baking them into the building’s mass. It uses the context of material enquiry to engage in the politics of synthetics, feminism, ownership and trauma; and interrogates how these things can manifest in some physical state, bound and unbound by the laws of nature. 

2. The Honeymoon Suite - Artwork by Debris Facility Amanda Horowitz and Isadora Vaughan. Photo by Andre Piguet.jpg

III.

Exhibition: Me they shall feel while I am able to stand
Artist: Daisy Watkins-Harvey
Venue: Bus Projects
Dates: until 23rd September  


Daisy Watkins-Harvey’s Me they shall feel while I am able to stand consists of two new gestural paintings and a sculptural piece made from steel and marble. The exhibition is a meditation on fear, violence and uncertainty. Intuitive and gestural in approach, the works are studies by the artist on the expression of human emotional stages, and the indeterminate space between imagination and memory. The exhibition is presented in the smallest gallery space at Bus Projects, a non-profit organization in Collingwood that presents a tightly curated program throughout its five conjoined galleries each month. Being able to present multiple exhibitions in one month under the one roof enables introduction between artist and audience.  

3. Bus Projects - Artwork by Daisy Watkins-Harvey.jpg

Melbourne Art Guide - July

Melbourne Art Guide - July

- by Charlotte Cornish


Although it is the depth of winter here in Melbourne there are many exciting exhibitions on view inside warm spaces. The exhibitions cover a wide breadth of spaces in Melbourne from institutions to artist run initiatives. From a large group exhibition including international art projects being presented at Australia’s only Kunsthalle, to an expansive new series of work by an established Australian contemporary artist presented at a commercial space, or an exciting exhibition by an emerging artist at a smaller non-profit gallery, this month there is something for everyone.  

 

Exhibition: Dale Frank
Artist: Dale Frank
Venue: Neon Parc (Brunswick)
Dates: Until 15 August, 2017

Dale Frank is an established contemporary Australian artist best known for his biomorphic abstract paintings. His practice has included found object-sculptures, performance installations, drawings and most recently paintings with sculptural elements. Dale Frank’s new body of work currently on view at Neon Parc consists predominantly of resin paintings, some with found objects protruding from their surfaces as sculptural elements. The expansive exhibition includes many new pieces that oscillate between extravagant lunacies, such as Guy (pictured) a large canvas with hand painted alien masks, and a more refined elegance, such as the several monochrome pieces with faint distortions embedded within the resin surfaces. 

2. Neon Parc - Dale Frank_Aliens_2017-Image credit Christo Crocker

2. Neon Parc - Dale Frank_Aliens_2017-Image credit Christo Crocker

II.
Exhibition:
Stages
Artist: Georgina Cue
Venue: TCB Art Inc.  
Dates: Until 15 July, 2017 

 

Georgina Cue uses DIY materials such as cardboard and spray paint to create a series of large-scale stages in a suburban garage. These theatrical sets have become the background for the series of photographs presented in Stages, the artist’s new solo exhibition currently on view in the front gallery at artist-run initiative TCB Art Inc. In this new series, Cue continues her exploration of male dominated art-historical movements by referencing formal sensibilities often found in Russian constructivism and German expressionism. The artist subverts the inherent romanticism and female gaze associated with these movements by constructing images in which the artist herself features as film siren and femme fatale.

TCB Art Inc. - Georgina Cue - Stages  (1)

TCB Art Inc. - Georgina Cue - Stages  (1)

III.
Exhibition:
Greater Together
Artists: Goldin + Senneby, Clark Beaumont, Antoinette J. Citizen and Courtney Coombs, C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska, Patrick Staff, 
Venue: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Dates: 8 July – 17 September 2017

 

Greater Together is an exhibition presented at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art exploring artistic collaboration through the practices of eight international artist projects. Annika Kristensen has curated the exhibition with projects by Australian and international artist collectives including Goldin + Senneby, Clark Beaumont, Antoinette J. Citizen and Courtney Coombs, C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska, Patrick Staff, Field Theory and Bik Van der Pol. The assembling together of these eight artist projects attempts to complicate individual notions of authorship in art practice to consider collaborative and cooperative approaches to art making, which perhaps can become deliberate and productive means of agency and solidarity in a complex and changing world.  

4. ACCA - Greater Together - Goldin+Senneby     Banner Header - Neon Parc - Dale Frank install view July 2017, Image credit: Christo Crocker

4. ACCA - Greater Together - Goldin+Senneby

 

Banner Header - Neon Parc - Dale Frank install view July 2017, Image credit: Christo Crocker