AUSTRALIA’S MONTHLY BRIEFING ON art
Cressida Campbell Grayson Perry Ai Weiwei
Koorie Heritage Trust Inc ‘ G n o k a n D a n n a M u r r a K o r- k i ’
On the Cover
From the Editor Our summer issue is filled with a long rollcall of events and exhibitions to keep you busy over the warmer months. Sara Sweet tackles two big exhibition previews with the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney’s, ‘Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career’, and the National Gallery of Victoria’s, ‘Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei’. Both artists explore, through different approaches, ideas of identity, masculinity and politics. We also preview the diverse works included in the ‘8th Asia Pacific Triennial’ on at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. And Melissa Pesa looks at Charles Blackman’s romantic and poetic world in ‘Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland’. Thanks for your support in 2015, and we look forward to bringing you more art news, briefs, events and previews in 2016.
On the Cover Cressida Campbell Somersaulting flannel flowers float against a dappled blue sky, in Cressida Campbell’s intensely personal cover work. “I drew and painted this picture during the months my husband was dying. It was the last drawing he saw of mine. I tried to give the painting a kind of heavenly mood of peace. I wanted to convey the feeling of freedom you get when lying on the grass looking up at an intense blue sky as well as a sense of movement from the flower’s dancing stalks.” Unusual perspectives, and Campbell’s talent for colour and composition, are matched by a unique process. She carves into plywood, paints them with watercolour and sprays them with water, before taking a single impression. Campbell’s work is part of the ‘Destination Sydney’ exhibition. National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery 11 December, 2015 to 21 February, 2016 Sydney
Annie Sebel and the Art Almanac team
Flannel flowers, 2013, woodblock print, 98.7 x 155.8cm Courtesy Rob & Jenny Ferguson and Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane
Destination Sydney Take nine iconic Australian artists, over 140 artworks, add three major independent Sydney galleries and you get the impressive summer show ‘Destination Sydney’. Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Mosman Art Gallery and National Trust S. H. Ervin Gallery have joined forces with curator Lou Klepac OAM for this unique exhibition. Artists in the show are: Cressida Campbell, Kevin Connor, Grace Cossington Smith, Elisabeth Cummings, Peter Kingston, John Olsen, Margaret Preston, Lloyd Rees and Brett Whiteley. Uniting the artists and the works on display is the harbour city itself. Klepac says, “Artists who live and work in a particular city tap into the immense collective energy that exists there and extract their own individual visions from it. This is the alchemy of the creative process, which produces the spirit of 38
the city. And no city has had the ability to inspire artists as Sydney has. Sydney is the city of painters and poets.” While not all the artists were born in Sydney, they have been inspired by either stints living in it, or travelling through. Lloyd Rees was on his way to Melbourne from Brisbane when his ship stopped in Sydney and he discovered the city. John Olsen was born in Newcastle but grew up in Sydney, while Sydney artist Grace Cossington Smith spent her days on the North Shore painting Sydney’s people, landscapes, buildings and events. “There has always been something magical about Sydney,” says Klepac, “and many people have fallen in love with this city, for its marvellous setting; its great sense of freedom, and the variety of its various parts, from secluded beaches, to the amazing grandeur of the Blue Mountains against which the city is set, and its marvellous weather. Who has never experienced in Sydney the stillness of a perfect day?”
Each gallery will host three artists’ work in their entirety. Manly Art Gallery & Museum will cover: Lloyd Rees, Brett Whiteley and Elisabeth Cummings. Mosman Art Gallery: John Olsen, Kevin Connor and Peter Kingston and S.H. Ervin Gallery: Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith and Cressida Campbell. The exhibition draws on works from major public and private collections and hopes to give visitors access to some of the great names of Australian art, showcasing the more familiar alongside some of the more unusual and expected pieces. Alongside the exhibitions there will be poetry readings, lectures, artists talks, visits to Sydney locations that are depicted in the artist’s works.
is a kind of visual mirror of our spiritual existence. This is what this exhibition is celebrating.”
At the heart of the exhibition, Klepac says, is recognition of these artists and their contribution. “Every generation is inspired by the artists active in the immediate previous fifty years, or so. This represents the living art of our day and
Kevin Connor, Early Morning, King Street, 2011, oil on canvas, 102 x 122cm Courtesy the artist and Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney
Manly Art Gallery & Museum 5 December, 2015 to 14 February, 2016 Mosman Art Gallery 5 December, 2015 to 7 February, 2016 S.H. Ervin Gallery 11 December, 2015 to 21 February, 2016 Grace Cossington Smith, Trees, c.1927, oil on plywood Courtesy S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney Peter Kingston, Big Saturday, 1995, oil on canvas, 183 x 157cm Courtesy Collection Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career by Sara Sweet
With an art practice spanning thirty years, British artist Grayson Perry has questioned ideas around ‘what constitutes art?’ He continues to intrigue those who lay eyes on his creations. Through his elaborate and decorative ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries, Perry has considered an expansive list of themes and subject areas. The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will host a major survey of Perry’s work, the first in the southern hemisphere. ‘Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career’ is presented as part of the Sydney International Art Series 2015-16. This highly anticipated survey follows Grayson’s creative journey from the early 1980s to now. Curated by MCA Chief Curator, Rachel Kent, ‘Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career’ exposes a series of key themes. Kent explains, “Grayson has drawn on a range of historical precedents, as well as ideas and imagery from 46
everyday life in his art. It combines deeply personal references to his own history, family and sexual identity, as well as wider social and political commentary – for example, an exploration of class and identity in Britain today.” Transvestism has been a fundamental force in the artist’s personal and artistic life finding expression through various works in the exhibition including Precious Boys and Western Man. Perry’s feminine persona, Claire, is understood to be a ‘central plank’ in his creative identity. Kent says, “The wider exploration and complexity of masculine identity today is central through his art and life, and is something I find particularly pertinent for Australian audiences.” The exhibition brings together thirty ceramic pieces spanning the artist’s career. These have been accumulated from collections around the world. Kent says that drawing together a substantial representation of Perry’s ceramic works did come as a challenge due to their fragility and small
scale. Viewers will see some of Perry’s earliest ceramics made in 1983, when he attended night pottery classes in London. His playfully charming and brightly illustrated ceramics outlay a construction of narratives that deviate from the artist’s personal reflections to political references and comments. Kent says, “Also on display are the artist’s sculptures in iron and brass, his prints, the tapestries he has been making since the 2000s, and a host of other material including sketch books, drawings, plus selected costumes and photographs that give a wider context to his art practice.” References are made to Alan Measles; Perry’s childhood teddy bear, which became a substitute father figure during his childhood days. Kent says that the bear came to represent “an all powerful, protective demi-god with his own religion of tolerance, or ‘holding one’s beliefs lightly’.” The MCA provides a space where people can tap into Perry’s world and see some of the influences that determined his projects. The survey delivers an expansive overview of Perry’s career, and Kent hopes that people will, “find many surprises, from the extraordinary craftsmanship of some of the objects themselves, as well as their aesthetic power, to the social and political messages they contain. Grayson describes his works as ‘stealth bombs’; they draw you in visually, then deliver their message, with humour, pathos and precision.”
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 10 December to 1 May, 2016 Sydney 1 Comfort Blanket, 2014, from the series ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’, tapestry, edition of 9 plus 3 APs Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, © Grayson Perry 2 Portrait, 2014 Photograph: © Pål Hanson 3 In Praise of Shadows, 2005, glazed ceramic Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, © Grayson Perry
Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
Joan Ross 20-50% off all plants & animals
These are ‘Confessions’ not to God, nor to a court, but perhaps to the audience of art, including Jumaadi himself, as to what is honest or less so in his practice. For this exhibition Jumaadi employs a variety of media, in works made in a number of different countries: buffalo hide, paper, canvas and wood, crafted in the US, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Northern Territory, and Mosman.
Curated by Rilka Oakley, ‘20-50% off all plants & animals’ showcases a selection from Joan Ross’ extensive repertoire including drawing, sculpture and video.
Teak panels came from the dismantled wall of an old eastern Javanese house. As is so often the case these works relate to Jumaadi’s ongoing deconstruction of history, memory and myth.
Her works are both satirical and disarming while addressing serious issues including ownership, surveillance, fear and boundaries. Her trademark use of fluoro is prevalent as are her kangaroo fur fashion items. Ross’ aesthetic is visually pleasing and yet confronting, reminding us of our colonial history and the ongoing repercussions of that history.
Watters Gallery 12 to 30 January, 2016
Blue Mountains City Art Gallery Until 3 January, 2016
New South Wales
Cactus Head, 2015, acrylic on board, 87.5 x 57.5cm Courtesy the artist and Watters Gallery, Sydney
Not a $tone unturned, 2015, hand painted pigment on cotton rag paper, 59 x 90cm Courtesy the artist, Michael Reid, Sydney and Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, New South Wales
James Gleeson centenary: works from the collection
Marina Strocchi: a survey, 1991-2015
This exhibition celebrates 100 years since the birth of Australia’s foremost surrealist painter and poet, James Gleeson (1915-2008). Drawn from the Gallery’s own collection of the artist’s work, this exhibition looks at Gleeson’s remarkable legacy through a selection of paintings, drawings and studies for paintings.
Lingering between abstraction and landscape, Marina Strocchi’s paintings are rich evocations of her experiences of living in the Central Australian desert. This survey exhibition is a study of Strocchi’s reflection on life in the Red Centre and Top End as well as its surrounds.
Gleeson’s art explores the human condition beyond visible reality, the senses, reason and the conscious mind. Inspired by writers and artists of the surrealist movement, including Salvador Dali and Max Ernst, Gleeson utilised poetry, dreams, mythology and chance elements as material for his work. His late paintings extend his psychological concerns beyond humanism to a cosmic experience of nature in constant evolution.
Melbourne-born Strocchi has lived in Central Australia for the past 20 years. Her paintings and prints are laden with iconic motifs of jabiru, fish, windmills, buffalo, feral cats, mangroves and mulga. Renditions that trace human activity, such as mining, travelling tracks, windmills and implements of industry and effort, indicate the post-colonial additions to the Territory landscape, complete with flora and fauna.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Until January, 2016
Charles Darwin University Art Collection & Art Gallery Until 19 February, 2016
The arrival of implacable gifts, 1985 © Gleeson/O’Keefe Foundation Courtesy Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
The sun and the moon, 2012, acrylic on linen, 182 x 200cm Courtesy Charles Darwin University Art Collection, CDU2875
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ART IN BRIEF
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Aboriginart Indigenous Fine Art Gallery (map ref 14-B) 6 Elder Place, Fremantle 6160. T (08) 9336-1739, 0403-012-615. E email@example.com W www.aboriginart.com.au Director: Bill Green. Free entry. H Wed-Mon and public hols 10.00 to 4.00. Specialising in investment quality, contemporary, indigenous works ethically sourced solely from the Central and Western Desert regions of Australia. They’re painted by some of our 50 most collectable artists, and cater for all aesthetic tastes, budgets and wall spaces for any residential, commercial or corporate situation.
Art Gallery Of Western Australia (map ref 6-F) Perth Cultural Centre, James Street Mall, Perth 6000. T (08) 9492-6600 F 9492-6655. W www.artgallery.wa.gov.au Free entry unless stated otherwise. H Wed-Mon 10.00 to 5.00 (closed Tues). To Jan 31, 2016 Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices features the spectacular and exotic art produced for global markets from the sixteenth to early nineteenth centuries. Demand for spices spurred on the great voyages of exploration and the establishment of vast empires across Asia. Treasure Ships presents the stories of the spice markets, slave trade and shipwrecks, as well as illustrating the astonishing beauty of Chinese porcelain, known as ‘white gold’ and celebrating vibrant Indian textiles. Ticketed. To Feb 15, 2016 American dream, American nightmare. A two-part display that focuses on one of the Collection’s most iconic and most requested works, Brett Whiteley’s ‘The American dream’ 1968-1969. To Feb 21, 2016 Resistance. A presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and world views about contemporary Indigenous life. It features Indigenous knowledge systems and commentary on Indigenous experiences, histories, cultures and people. To Feb 28, 2016 WA Focus. A new annual program dedicated to displaying the work of Western Australian artists. Graham Miller is one of WA’s most important photographers. His display comes together around two distinct threads: a body of landscape works and a group of portraits spanning over 15 years of output. Screen Space. A new work is screened every two months in this dedicated space for AGWA’s growing filmic acquisitions.
Artitja Fine Art (map ref 17-C) South Fremantle, 6162. T (08) 93367787, 0418-900-954. E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.artitja.com.au Directors: Anna Kanaris and Arthur Clarke. H Daily by appt. Specialising in Indigenous Fine Art. Personalised service. Entering our second decade. Through Dec and Jan The Gift Collection: Art + Objects at Bathers Beach House, 3/47 Mews Road, Fremantle.
Bankwest Art Gallery (map ref 6-C) Bankwest Place, Mezzanine Level, 300 Murray Street, Perth 6000. W bankwest.com.au/artprize Free entry. H Mon-Fri 9.00 to 5.00. To Feb 12, 2016, 2015 Bankwest Art Prize. Celebrate WA art. See ad page 18.
Fremantle Arts Centre (map ref 12-C) 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle 6160. T (08) 9432-9555. E email@example.com W www.fac.org.au Free entry. H Daily 10.00 to 5.00. To Jan 24, 2016 Manoeuvres. Rebecca Baumann’s (WA) work is characterised by its distinctive use of colour, light and time. In Manoeuvres she presents a series of spatial installations, programming and choreographing industrial signage and information mechanisms to create an immersive experience of colour and movement. Having exhibited around the country and with a burgeoning reputation overseas, Fremantle Arts Centre presents this expansive solo exhibition at an important moment in Baumann’s career. Also, Didactic Tools features five artists responding to the current explosion of instructional and educational culture, from YouTube tutorials to TEDx. Combining performance, visual art, sound and media works with biological science and architectural practice, the exhibition was convened by Perth-based company Hydra Poesis and includes artists –Tarsh Bates (WA), Keg de Souza (NSW), Sam Fox (WA), Jake Oorloff (Sri Lanka) and Kynan Tan (WA/NSW).
Heathcote Museum and Gallery Swan House, Heathcote Cultural Centre, 58-60 Duncraig Road, Applecross 6153. T (08) 9364-5666. E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.melvillecity.com.au/heathcote H Tues-Fri 10.00 to 3.00, Sat-Sun 12.00 to 4.00. To Dec 20 Hoon by Andy Quilty.
Indigenart - Mossenson Galleries (map ref 9-L) 115 Hay Street, Subiaco 6008. T (08) 9388-2899, 0413-803-998. E email@example.com W www.mossensongalleries.com.au H Wed-Sat 11.00 to 4.00 or by appt.
Japingka Gallery (map ref 14-A) 47 High Street, Fremantle 6160. T (08) 9335-8265. E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.japingka.com.au H Open daily. Through Dec Gallery1: Fine Dot Artists – Jorna Newberry, Wentja Napaltjarri and Eva Nelson Napaltjarri. Gallery2: Mowanjum Artists from the north-west Kimberley. Through Jan, 2016 Works from the stockroom.
(map ref 13-L) UWA, 35 Stirling Highway (cnr Fairway), Crawley 6009. T (08) 6488-3707. E email@example.com W lwag.uwa.edu.au H Tues-Sat 11.00 to 5.00. To Dec 5 DeMonstrable presents new commissioned works together with 20 years of artistic, scientific and popular culture responses to the Earmouse, curated by SymbioticA Director Oron Catts. Also, Object Lessons III: Pattern Recognition. OBJECT LESSONS is an exhibition in three parts, presenting contemporary art from the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. To Dec 12 WARMUN THEN AND NOW will illuminate the different generations, relationships and Country that inform the artistic discourse of the Warmun Art Movement, both then and now. Gallery closed from Dec 13, reopens Feb 18, 2016 with Bharti Kher: in her own language.
LightLocker Art Space (map ref 7-D) Grand Lane, Perth and Roe Street Car Park Arcade, Northbridge 6003. W foodchainperth.com/lightlockers H Accessible 24/7. To Jan 14, 2016 Tokens and Structures – Sherry Paddon, Bonnie Boogoard, Guillermo Kramer, Pascale Giorgi, Jessica Tan and Lance Ward. See ad below.
Linton & Kay Galleries Perth City (map ref 7-D) The Old Perth Technical School, Level 1/137 St Georges Terrace, Perth 6000. T (08) 6465-6414. E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.lintonandkay.com.au H Mon-Sat 10.00 to 5.00, Sun 11.00 to 4.00.
Tokens and Structures Sherry Paddon, Bonnie Boogaard, Guillermo Kramer and Pascale Giorgi, Jessica Tan, Lance Ward. Accessible 24/7 until 14 January, 2016.
Linton & Kay Galleries Subiaco (map ref 11-E) 299 Railway Road (cnr Nicholson Rd), Subiaco 6008. T (08) 9388-3300. E email@example.com W www.lintonandkay.com.au H Mon-Sat 10.00 to 5.00, Sun 11.00 to 4.00.
Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery (map ref 14-A) 46 Henry Street, Fremantle 6160. T (08) 9432-9898. E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.fac.org.au/exhibitions/moores-building.aspx H Daily 10.00 to 4.00 during exhibitions. To Dec 13 Unlocked is a self-reflective exhibition by collective Artistix traversing the artists’ personal experiences, from fanciful dreams to childhood memories. The exhibition features paintings by Lynne Abshar, Peter Campagna, Jacquie Penton, Myriam Quinn, Tury Sicari and Annette Wiguna.
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
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