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ADRIENNE DOIG AD in Arcadia Ego


ADRIENNE DOIG AD in Arcadia Ego

Opening: Thursday 1 March 6-8pm Exhibition: 1 - 25 March 2012

Cover Image: AD Libitum, 2012, embroidery on tapestry, 45 x 46.5 cm


© Martin Browne Contemporary © All images copyright Adrienne Doig COMPILERS: Electra Foley PHOTOGRAPHY: Bette Mifsud COLOUR SEPARATIONS: Spitting Image, Sydney PRINTING: Southern Colour, Sydney


AD in Arcadia Ego Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is one of the most widely recognisable images of Romantic art. It shows a man perched upon a precipice, overlooking a valley covered in fog. The device of the Rückenfigur — a person seen from behind, contemplating the view — is also used by Adrienne Doig in a number of tapestries included in this exhibition. They invite the viewer to place themselves in her shoes and experience the sublime power of nature. They also represent that power under the two facets that Romantic art normally attributed to it: awe and joy. AD Locum and the title work AD in Arcadia Ego are pensive and solitary. There is a suggestion that the gaze here is turned towards the abyss. AD Infinitum is an ecstatic celebration of the natural world. Friedrich is just one reference in a body of work that alludes to the history of Western art in a way that Doig has not done before; to Manet and Goya, to Fragonard and, of course, to Nicolas Poussin. Et in Arcadia Ego is a title that Poussin gave to two of his paintings. Each one shows a group of idealised shepherds discovering a tomb upon which this phrase is chiselled. The phrase is normally translated as ‘Even in Arcadia I [am there]’, with the ‘I’ signifying death. Because the Latin phrase lacks a verb, some have suggested that it is an anagram and have attributed mystical meanings to it. Doig playfully further obscures the phrase by replacing the conjunction ‘et’ with the ungrammatical preposition ‘AD’. Instead of its Latin meaning ‘to’ or ‘towards’, AD represents the initials with which the artist normally signs her work. She then incorporates these initials into the titles of individual works. Here she breaks with Friedrich, who insisted that titles should not be overly descriptive or evocative. She also departs from Romantic conventions by weaving her everyday life into the landscapes. If these are allegorical landscapes, they are domestic and ecological ones rather than psychological. Doig in Ad Alta is not a wayfarer who leaves the comforts of home to venture into a threatening and uncontrollable world. Nature in these works is familiar, abundant and nurturing. The landscapes which Doig uses are European ones, based on French Rococo tapestries which she sourced whilst on a residency in Paris. These are then colonised with Australian animals: with wallabies and wombats, Tasmanian devils and kookaburras. It is a reversal of what European artists did in Australia. It also questions our sense of place and how we relate to the environment. Doig’s Arcadia blurs the perceived distinctions between European landscape and Australian country. As with her allusions to European art, these works suggest that for most Australians, identity and place and what we make of them — the AD Sum and AD Vitam of our daily lives — are a tapestry, complex and multi-layered. Steven Miller January 2012


AD Gloriam, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Infinitum, 2011, Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Absurdum, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Alta, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Vitam, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Locum, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


Todiramphus Macleayii, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Cacatua Galerita, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Varanus Varius, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Macropus Parryi, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


AD in Arcadia Ego, 2012 Embroidery and appliquĂŠ on tapestry 151 x 181 cm


ADSum, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Litteram, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


Gymnorhina Tibicen, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Calyptorhynchus Funereus, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Ninox Boobook, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Phascolarctos Cinereus, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


AD Abundantiam, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Interim, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


AD Rem, 2011 Embroidery on tapestry 45 x 46.5 cm


Petroica Goodenovii, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Platycerus Elegans, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Sarcophilus Harrisii, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


Lasiorhinus Krefftii, 2011, embroidery on tapestry, 21 x 21 cm


AD Natvas et AD Mores, 2012 Embroidery and appliquĂŠ on tapestry 123 x 184 cm


1996 1986-89

Graduate Diploma Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney Bachelor of Visual Arts, College of Fine Arts Sydney

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2012 2010 2005 2004 2002 2001 2000 2000 1999

AD in Arcadia Ego, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney Flora and Fauna, Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith Some People, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney The Two of Us, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney My Life as a Doll, Scott Donovan Gallery, Sydney Domestic Drama, The Salon, Vienna, Austria Feelings, (with Peter Spilsbury) Spectrascope , The Performance Space, Sydney Undercover, Briefcase Sydney The Other Woman, The Performance Space, Sydney

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2012 2011 2011 2010 2008 2007 2006

Hello Dollies, Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Wangaratta Victoria Hands On Curated by Cash Brown, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Sutherland Shire The Blake Prize, National Art School Sydney and Touring Stitched, Curated by Susan Gibb, Penrith Regional Gallery Multiple Personality, Curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham Mop Gallery, Sydney Truth and Likeness, Curated by Miichael Desmond, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

AWARDS 2007 2003 2001 1996 1992 1982

Moya Drying Studio, Cite International, Paris Studio Residency, Milan, Visual Arts Craft Board of the Australia Council Austrian Federal Chancellory Studio Residency Vienna Project Grant, New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council Project Grant, Visual Arts Craft Board of the Australia Council Scholarship, Minnefondet Foundation Norway

COLLECTIONS Artbank, Sydney Harry Seidler and Associates, Sydney Deloitte, Sydney Baker and MacKenzie, Sydney O’Hallorans Pty Ltd, Sydney Pat Corrigan Collection, Sydney Principal Advisory Services, Sydney Tamworth Regional Gallery


ADRIENNE DOIG | AD in ARCADIA EGO | ONLINE CATALOGUE 2012  

Adrienne Doig | AD in Arcadia Ego 1 - 25 March 2012