ARTIST PROFILE Magazine - Blog

Daniel Boyd, a shade above: winner of the 2014 BVLGARI ART AWARD

April 16th, 2014 by Lucy Stranger | No Comments | Filed in news

Leading Australian artist Daniel Boyd is the successful recipient of the 2014 BVLGARI ART AWARD for his work Untitled 2014.  Announced yesterday by Dr Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Boyd’s artwork impressed the judging panel with its contemporary rendering of an historical scene, exploring the effects of time and memory on the interpretation of objects and images.

In Untitled 2014, Boyd derives his subject from a small historical photograph of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu.  Both a personal and social account of history, Pentecost Island was home to Boyd’s great, great paternal grandfather before he was taken as slave to the sugarcane fields in Queensland.  Reflective, emotive and intriguing, Untitled 2014 reveals greater historical concerns including the ethics of colonisation and the authority of prevailing Eurocentric perspectives on Australian history.

Mirroring his conceptual practice of using a small historical photograph to examine larger historical concerns in the process of art and memory, Untitled is dominantly large in scale in contrast to the small, subtle dots that make up the image.  The shifts in light and transparent tonal gradations created by the dots of paint portray a softly lit image of the landscape and figures. The masterful blend of traditions in form and content as if in a cross-cultural conversation is reminiscent of both Western and Aboriginal art practice.  Wayne Tunnicliffe, head curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, noted Boyd’s contribution to Australian art, stating thatthis painting is apart of a significant body of work in which Boyd has developed a new visual language for history painting.”

On a larger scale Boyd states “My recent work is about the trajectory of information and how it passes back and forth over time and between cultures.” Through the movement of information, details and facts associated with historical events and objects are lost.”  The reduced colour palette of Untitled 2014 is a snapshot of a historical moment that will never be fully comprehended.   The use of dots references the idea of the cultural lens and the fact that society incorporates a multitude of perspectives.  It is Boyd’s ability to bring representations of our history into a unique contemporary view that is impressive, which does not allow the viewer to shy away from the past.

The prestigious prize includes a $50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a residency in Italy valued at $30,000. The award winner is selected by the Gallery’s Trustees, the director and the head curator of Australian art. Previous winners include Michael Zavros in 2012 and Jon Cattapan in 2013.

Art Gallery of NSW

Daniel Boyd’s Untitled 2014, oil, pastel and archival glue on canvas, 315 × 223.5 cm

Photography by AGNSW

Courtesy the Artist

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Unfolding a New Grand Narrative at Next Wave Festival 2014

April 2nd, 2014 by Lucy Stranger | No Comments | Filed in exhibition, news

The stories of today are set to be rewritten in Melbourne from 16 April to 11 May, 2014 as part of ‘Next Wave Festival 2014: New Grand Narrative’.  This month-long festival will colour the Melbourne landscape with cutting-edge arts and culture from Australia and the globe.  Marking its 30th anniversary in 2014, ‘Next Wave’ rallies against social convention, involving a dynamic curated selection of innovative, challenging new art.  This rebellious outlook inspires a ‘next wave’ of visions of the new world, and the political and cultural relationships within it.

As part of the mantra of producing new stories, the festival will incorporate an ambitious range of technically challenging and risky art, including performance, dance, visual art, sound art – conjuring art projects never seen before.  Connecting to the landscape itself, art projects will permeate Melbourne’s spaces; from its theatres and galleries to its laneways, beaches, rivers and private homes.  The ‘Next Wave’ festival enables a platform for new artists to express their conceptions and challenges for what art can be. “Our theme for Next Wave Festival 2014 is a rallying call,” said Emily Sexton, Next Wave Artistic Director.  “We seek a New Grand Narrative. Or new grand narratives.”

The festival is responding to a period of transition, where 20th Century conventions and institutions are being questioned and challenged in their relevance.    Emily Sexton, Artistic Director draws attention to the irrelevance of many institutions to modern life; “From newspapers to marriage, or a two-party political system, or our relationship to the planet and animals – or even the constitution itself, which still does not equally acknowledge our Aboriginal peoples”.  The festival makes a provocative stand against prevailing norms.

A key highlight of the festival is ‘Blak Wave’, which sparks conversations about what is artistically and politically ‘next’ for Australian Indigenous Peoples.  Featuring seven new art projects, a thought-provoking talk series and a new publication, this important initiative seeks to investigate the multifaceted nature of Aboriginal art today.  The 80-page publication co-curated and edited by Torres Strait Islander Tahjee Moar and Next Wave’s artistic team will feature a spread of interviews, profiles and articles that project the positive vision of Aboriginal Australia.

Looking towards the future of Indigenous Australian art, the Blak Wave art project has been developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists and curators, including Tahjee Moar, Tony Albert, Djon Mundine, Bo Svoronos and Erica McCalman.  Blak Wave involves a range of visual art installations to performance and dance to engage the viewer on multiple sensory levels.  Celebrating the importance of storytelling, dance and place to contemporary Indigenous culture, the art projects will engage viewers from interacting with a 3D virtual reality app of pastoral Melbourne, to participating in an installation featuring animated video projections and a large-scale interactive dance podium.

A movement that embraces the new, Next Festival 2014 has exciting momentum towards empowering diverse cultural and artistic experiences.   The festival’s constant desire to question and re-write convention, promotes the need for a collective consciousness amongst artists and the audience to re-evaluate today for a better tomorrow.

Next Wave Festival
16 April to 11 May 2014

Phuong Ngo, Article 14.1, performance
Photography by Alex Clayton
Courtesy the artist

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AGNSW and Artist Del Kathryn Barton launch new education program

March 26th, 2014 by Lucy Stranger | No Comments | Filed in news

The Art Gallery of New South Wales in partnership with State Street has announced a new education program called State Street Learning for Life.   Over the next three years the Gallery’s goal has centred towards innovating through education; increasing and diversifying the art programs available to students, families and the public.

Two-time Archibald prize winning artist Del Kathryn Barton has delightedly accepted the role as the State Street Learning for Life ambassador, stating her aim is ‘to encourage as many people – particularly young people – to experience art in the hope that this will inform and enhance their lives’.  The importance of education and making art accessible to younger generations is a clear objective, with Barton stating ‘that involvement in the arts including the visual arts has wide-ranging benefits for young people throughout their entire life’.

The dynamic partnership of AGNSW, State Street and Del Kathryn Barton will see a commitment to art education and a potential doubling of participants in the Gallery programs according to Michael Brand, director.  Beginning 18 May 2014, Third Sundays at the Gallery will allow visitors to engage with at least five hours of art programs on a monthly basis.  Later in the year the Gallery will introduce a Gallery Kids Festival Day on 21 September and in November launch Art Sets, a program involving visitors collecting and sharing works from the Gallery’s expansive collection.

The funding will also be directed to expanding education programs for students, such as developing Sydney Students Speak.  Lochiel Crafter, head of State Street Global Advisors for Asia Pacific stated that ‘the State Street Learning for Life program allows us to inspire, nurture and educate future generations of innovators in Australia’.  This focus involves improving the accessibility of art by providing resources for more disadvantaged high schools to visit, as well as creating greater assistance for visitors who are vision and hearing impaired to experience artworks.

Director Michael Brand emphasises this focus as ‘the most significant commitment to our education program in the Gallery’s history’.  Such enthusiasm and drive suggests an exciting next three years for the Gallery and its visitors.

State Street Learning for Life

Del Kathryn Barton and students in front of Robert Owen’s Cadence #1 2003 (A Short Space of time) 2003
Photograph courtesy of AGNSW

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Biennale of Sydney

March 4th, 2014 by Jillian Grant | No Comments | Filed in exhibition, news

On the eve of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, ARTIST PROFILE spoke to Artistic Director Juliana Engberg about her inspirations, ideas and what to expect from this year’s event.

Did you have any initial ideas for this event?
A Biennale lives within a place and time – it is responsive to its cultural moment. So I guess you start to think about what some of the other Biennales of late been looking at, what has been the fairly immediate history of this particular event, what are the venues that might be available. I think that’s one of the nice things about the Biennale for me, it is very much guarded by the artistic vision of a particular individual at a particular time. But having said that, there were several things that became important to me around that time, not the least of which was a certain negativity that had come into some of the international Biennales; Berlin and to some extent the earlier Istanbul Biennale. And just a general atmosphere of – not despondency exactly – but I suppose a doubt that art had power or meaning, or was even useful. I think I immediately wanted to establish a Biennale that reasserts excitement about art, puts art front and centre, and gives the audience something to connect to and work with.

What is your curatorial vision for this particular Biennale?
The title (You Imagine What You Desire) has naturally enlarged itself to include the audience, which is really what I wanted to do. The ‘desiring’ and ‘imagining’ is transferred from the artist to audience and vice versa, as I hope it would be generally. I think it is a quite buoyant Biennale, certainly hyper visual. It has a lot of ‘art’ art in it, it is a less documentary style Biennale, with not a lot of text reading, or deliberately didactic work. It is generous to an audience who come in search of that imagination and desiring, and leaves a way for them to enter on their own account. It has, I hope, a set of sophisticated layering.

Did you aim to put the focus on audience more so than other years? There is really the opportunity for the audience to be more involved?
I think the truth is that the Biennale of Sydney is a big audience event, and if you were to deny the audience, it would be insane really! Especially in a venue such as Cockatoo Island, where there are predominately families. They are out there, curious, and they want to be involved. They’re not necessarily the cognoscenti audience, which remains quite designated in certain respects. So for me it was extremely important to acknowledge the different sets of audiences who come to this. I have actually made quite a deliberate effort to include projects that are appealing for children and adults.

Your chosen theme is ‘You Imagine What You Desire’ – can you talk a little bit about how you came to settle on this concept, and what it means for you?
It isn’t a theme, so much as a title. It’s a title that does indicate my intent – to examine art that is full of imagination and creativity, and made as a consequence of this amorous procedure that artists are involved in – the fact that they are driven to do that and can’t do anything else in a way. They make things that don’t seem all that necessary or useful but are, ultimately, extremely useful for our sense of society and wellbeing, our own reignition, imagination and desire. I do think that the audience comes in search of that, and that something like the Biennale gives you, momentarily, an environment of desiring, of imagination, and I think the audience is very drawn to that. They can go in there and know it’s not real life, but for a period of time they can just go with it. In essence, that’s what I wanted to do, what the title indicates. I wanted to make an evocative Biennale, not a terse, defeatist, negative display. I wanted there to be something that people can grapple with.

Something that’s not ‘over curated’ per se?
It’s not a suffocating theme. With a Biennale of this scale and shape, if you have a theme and try to force it each time you will repeat yourself and dilute it, and won’t leave yourself open to the opportunities that are presented to you whilst you’re building your event. It is safer that way, but I think you can be a bit brave and bold. I think a theme is not necessarily the desirable thing for this scale. At the end of the day, you step back and say it’s the art that takes over and the people become excited about that. Rather than trying to see if it matches up to this terse statement that was made.

What has been involved in coordinating this Biennale conceptually across such a range of venues?
I used the fact of them being very different as the organising principle, you could say. Cockatoo Island for me is a feral, wild space with a history – of the production of energy, incarceration – and you can borrow back from this and redeliver to the place. I have tried to tap into that energetic, happy anarchy. But the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of New South Wales are far more standardised venues, with very different temperaments. The MCA for me is a light, airy space and so there you can venture into psychological projects. The AGNSW on the other hand has an anthropological, poetic space, and is keenly interested in human narratives. Carriageworks, which has come online as a major venue this year, has had use as a cinematic film studio. We had seen on our journey quite a lot of works that seemed to be somehow speaking a theatrical or cinematic language – it struck me that this was a good use for Carriageworks. And then I wanted to bring Artspace back into the fold. I was, like many people, surprised that it was not part of the last one – it is where the constituency go, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I used each one of the venue’s own temperaments and characteristics to help me describe back to myself the kind of works I think would be appropriate there, and the kinds of itineraries that could be created. There are things that thread through those venues, and create a necklace of an event.

What was your process in selecting artists? I notice there is a particularly strong international presence in the line up so far.
I used the same methodology I always use. I wanted it to be genuine, authentic research, so I literally sat down with artists on the hour, sometimes over 12 a day, every day, whenever I was travelling. I put space and theme together quite quickly, so even when speaking to artists I knew exactly where they would fit.

I notice quite a few of Dutch artists?
The Dutch contingent is quite strong! And I must be truthful, there could have been more. It was an especially strong visitation in Holland. Something has happened lately in Amsterdam and Rotterdam that has meant that things are really quite healthy there in terms of art. It’s a good variety of practice as well, not just one thing that is coming through. There are quite a few Scandinavian artists as well, it is an area that the Biennale of Sydney has not looked strongly at for some time, and I’m half Danish, so I think its fair for me to look to the customs and cultures of that part of the world.

What sort of artistic responses should we expect from this concept?
For me, each project has this singularity that behind it, is built upon this whole history, even though it may seem fanciful or entertaining on first glance. This history can often take you down an interesting and quite serious path, of theoretical investigation or political, ethical investigation. All of these live behind that singular moment, and we then have a multiplicity of those moments that gather themselves in a kind of force of creativity, which I think is quite good.

‘The Village,’ by Danish artists Randi & Katrine is a very large-scale, spectacular, anthropomorphised village with buildings that look like churches and village houses. For me, it has a great deal of depth in terms of discussing the village as a fortress, which becomes an island of society, a sequestered space for one part of a community and not another. If you want you can travel backwards through that concept and arrive at things such as asylum seeking, etcetera. I hope that there is all of that there in each of these projects for people to find and unpack. I have borrowed from literature, history and popular culture to derive those sets of projects that I think activate that space.

19th Biennale of Sydney
You Imagine What You Desire
March 21 to June 9, 2014

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30 Years of the Sternberg Collection

January 24th, 2014 by Artist Profile | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

To mark the 30 year anniversary since the first art works collector and philanthropist Goldie Sternberg donated to the Gallery, a new exhibition, The connoisseur and the philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg collection will showcase exquisite ceramics, stone and bronze sculptures, textiles and paintings, acquired through the generosity of benefactors Edward and Goldie Sternberg , their family and friends.

After falling in love with Chinese art in the 1950s, Goldie Sternberg started donating works to the Art Gallery of NSW in the 1980s. In 1989, her husband, Edward Sternberg, proposed providing funds for the Gallery to invest, with the income used to buy Chinese art.

Goldie once declared that she loved everything Chinese and above all the arts. She said this passion began “when I was quite young… I loved it for its grace and beauty.”

She described her philanthropy as a source of great pleasure, as it is a way to share her interest by making Chinese art more accessible to the public, through exhibitions, acquisitions and education.

Since the late 1980s, more than 30 artworks have been either gifted to the Gallery by the Sternbergs and friends or purchased with the Edward and Goldie Sternberg Chinese Art Purchase Fund, all of which will be on display along with a dozen of the south east Asian art works purchased by a fund set up by the Sternbergs to purchase works from this area.

Curator of Chinese art, Cao Yin said, “even though I did not have the honour of meeting Goldie and Edward Sternberg I have discovered through my own reading about them and from conversations with people who knew the couple well, that Goldie particularly, had a scholarly discipline and had done tremendous study. It seemed she always took meticulous notes after attending lectures and seminars on Chinese art. She had a wonderful knowledge and the Gallery is pleased to be honouring Goldie and her husband Edward by displaying this wonderful collection.”

The works cover a wide range of artistic styles from the 1st century (Han Dynasty, 206 BCE -220 CE) to modern times.

Hongzhi 1488 – 1505/Ming dynasty 1368 – 1644 Jingdezhen/Jiangxi Province/China, Jingdezhen ware Dish with gardenia spray design, porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze yellow decoration, 5 × 26.7cm
CUI Zifan Ducks and bamboo 20th century hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper, 60 × 60cm
Courtesy the Art Gallery of New South Wales


2014 Prudential Eye Awards winners announced

January 23rd, 2014 by Artist Profile | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Over 500 nominations for the 2014 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art came from 30 countries throughout greater Asia. The Awards celebrate and recognise artistic talent from greater Asia across digital/video, installation, painting, photography and sculpture, and offer a platform to showcase contemporary Asian artists.

On the 18 January, 2014 the winners of the 2014 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art were announced at an awards ceremony at Suntec City, Singapore:

Ben Quilty (painting)
Ben Quilty
was named as the overall winner for the Awards, receiving a further US$30,000 and a solo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London, in the summer of 2014. His rich impasto paintings of bold and unsettling subjects explore the problematic relationship between the personal and the cultural.

Daniel Crooks (digital/video)
Daniel Crooks
is a multidisciplinary artist whose videos and photographic projects manipulate the elements of digital video. Using a ‘slice’ of an image or frame of a video, Crooks stretches and distorts reality, making the image pause and warp. Cityscapes are presented as a mind altering experience through the passing of time, whilst transforming our perception of reality.

Jompet Kuswidananto (installation)
Indonesian artist Jompet Kuswidananto makes multimedia installations that often combine video, sound and mechanized elements. A self-taught artist who trained as a musician, Kuswidananto creates ghostly brigades of bodiless figures delineated only by empty pairs of boots and fragments of ceremonial military costumes. Objects such as drum kits periodically crack out a sharp, hollow percussion. His practice investigates the complex history of Indonesia reflecting the dramatic pace of cultural, social and political change that has engulfed their nation since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998.

Trent Parke (photography)
During the early years of his career, Trent Parke worked as a press photojournalist before embarking on his creative photography practice. In 2003 and 2004 he documented his journey around Australia over a two-year period, examining ‘the current and changing state of the Australian nation,’ capturing the mood of a still young and emerging nation. His later series includes The Christmas Tree Bucket, Welcome to Nowhere and Please step quietly everyone can hear you, a behind-the-scenes documentary series from the Sydney Opera House which revealed Parke’s characteristic originality and imagination.

Seoung Wook Sim (sculpture)
Seoul-based artist Seoung Wook Sim describes landscapes, figures, natives, and constructions through his work. Wook Sim’s dark and sublime sculptures record unusual journeys to different domains and are detailed representations of a world created in his imagination

2014 Prudence Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art
Until February 5, 2014
Suntec City, Singapore

Image: Australian painter Ben Quilty, overall winner of the Prudential Eye Award for Contemporary Asian Art, at the awards ceremony in Singapore.

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Melbourne Now

November 18th, 2013 by Artist Profile | No Comments | Filed in exhibition, news

A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is a snapshot of Melbourne’s cultural identity.

Artist Profile spoke to NGV Director Tony Ellwood about this ambitious project.

Has Melbourne Now been a longstanding idea of yours and where did it originate?
The idea for the exhibition came as a result of moving back to Melbourne last year and the recognition that this city has such a rich and diverse community of artists and designers whose work should be celebrated. While this is something we all know and often talk about – perhaps we even take it for granted – I realised that there hadn’t been an exhibition that focused on this for a very long time and this seemed like a remarkable opportunity for the NGV.

What are your hopes for the exhibition and initiative?
I hope that Melbourne Now will highlight the great creativity and talent that exists in Melbourne and bring it to the attention of visitors to the gallery, both locals and visitors from interstate and overseas. I hope that it might also attract new audiences to the gallery. We have developed an ambitious program of events in association with the exhibition, as well as a series of interactive projects with contemporary artists and designers that are specifically for children. t’s a cliché but there is literally something for everyone in this show and I’m really looking forward to seeing our visitors engage with everything on offer at the NGV over summer.

Melbourne Now covers a lot of different media and disciplines. How have the curators approached coordinating the works into a cohesive display?
We have used a new model for this exhibition in which a group of 20 or so curators from various specialist areas across the gallery collaborated on the selection of artists and designers for inclusion within the exhibition. In the final process of allocating spaces within the gallery for the display of their work, particular themes have emerged that reflect trends within current practice. Like all exhibitions the decisions about how these are brought together and the balance between continuity and contrast within the show has been a combination of letting the art lead the way, as well as introducing our own aesthetic judgement.

Melbourne Now covers a lot of different media and disciplines. How have the curators approached coordinating the works into a cohesive display?
We have used a new model for this exhibition in which a group of 20 or so curators from various specialist areas across the gallery collaborated on the selection of artists and designers for inclusion within the exhibition. In the final process of allocating spaces within the gallery for the display of their work, particular themes have emerged that reflect trends within current practice. Like all exhibitions the decisions about how these are brought together and the balance between continuity and contrast within the show has been a combination of letting the art lead the way, as well as introducing our own aesthetic judgement.

What will interstate and overseas visitors find noticeably different about the Melbourne art scene in relation to other parts of the art world?
It’s hard to anticipate this, but I think any visitor who does not know Melbourne well will discover something new in the exhibition, whether it’s the focus on contemporary jewellery that exists here, the number of designers and makers of bespoke footwear this city can boast or the variety of art produced by contemporary Indigenous artists resident in and around Melbourne.

Tell us about the activities and programs attached to the project and their aims.
We’ve developed a vast program of activities in association with Melbourne Now, including a Kids Festival that will run from 18 to 26 January, as well as the Community Hall, a structure within NGV International designed by McBride Charles Ryan which will form the hub for a changing program of activities and events. There will be talks, performances and interactive activities across both buildings throughout the exhibition so I’d really encourage people to look at our website in the lead-up to the opening to get the full picture

You’ve mentioned this will be the first time the NGV has profiled a significant Australian design agenda within a visual arts context, highlighting the dynamism of our city’s cultural identity. Was there a particular brief for the artists to capture that feeling?
While the NGV has always collected and exhibited certain aspects of design within the areas of fashion and textiles and decorative arts, this broader engagement with the great breadth of design practice is a new initiative for the NGV that comes out of the interdisciplinary practice that exists in Melbourne where you find visual artists and designers working together or aspects of visual art crossing over into what has traditionally been classified as design and vice versa. We haven’t asked the participants in Melbourne Now to respond to a particular brief but, rather, by bringing individual approaches together, we look forward to being able to visualise the big picture.

Melbourne Now
22 Nov to 23 Mar, 2014
National Gallery of Victoria

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Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century

November 10th, 2013 by Jillian Grant | No Comments | Filed in exhibition, news

To mark 100 years since the Bicycle Wheel (1913) – that industrial off-cut that Duchamp dared to call art, Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) are celebrating a century of the ‘readymade’ in ‘Reinventing the Wheel’, an exhibition that draws together works that utilise found objects. On display are over 40 artists from Australia and abroad – a clan of jokers, radicals and dedicated artists who have expanded the definition of art making in ways that have variously reviled, amused, and profoundly changed the way artists and consumers consider art.

Charlotte Day, Director of MUMA and one of the curators of this exhibition comments on the significance of the show for the museum, who she says have not previously shown anything quite on this scale. ‘This is the most ambitious exhibition that MUMA has yet presented, including works that establish the historical moment of the ‘readymade’ in Europe and its reception in the USA and in Australia. Most exciting is the opportunity for living artists to see their work as part of this ongoing history,” she says.

When a urinal was presented to a New York gallery in 1917 for an upcoming exhibition, the organisers threw it away. Such was the reaction to one of the earliest examples of the found object or ‘readymade’ in art, Fountain by Marcel Duchamp. On display at MUMA is its predecessor, Bicycle Wheel, the upturned bicycle that threw the artistic community into a spin. The use of a mundane, discarded object in the context of an artwork was a horrifying moment for classical purists, and a revolutionary one in the history of art.

Juxtaposing seminal works by a number of international artists with contemporary Australian practice, MUMA deftly sweeps the timeline from Duchamp to the present, beginning with two key works by Duchamp: Bicycle wheel (1913) and Bottle dryer (1914). As we progress into the twentieth century, works by Meret Oppenheim represent the concept of the Surrealist object. The use of the ‘readymade’ in Minimalist and Pop Art is explored through the works of such artists as Man Ray, Andy Warhol and John Cage, and younger generations of artists including Martin Creed, Simon Denny, Matthew Griffin, and Ricky Swallow reveal the development of the ‘readymade’ in current international art. Oppenheim’s Squirrel (1969) is a highlight – the artist’s famous taste for mixing the ‘cute’ and uncomfortable clearly evident in her classic use of fur.

Australia is very well represented in the exhibition, with Aleks Danko, Greatest Hits, James Lynch, Andrew Liversidge, Robert MacPherson, John Nixon, Lou Hubbard, Rosslynd Piggott, Stuart Ringholt and Charlie Sofo, all displaying their varying forms of ‘readymade’ works. The most interesting thing about this exhibition, and a testament to the excellent curatorial direction of the MUMA team, is this comparison of key works in the canon of international contemporary art, and the output of contemporary Australian artists. The exhibition is indeed something of a homage to Duchamp, but more importantly, it puts the works of such artists as Danko and Griffin in context. The Australian context, of course, is self evident – but by placing these objects alongside those of Duchamp and Oppenheim, we see both progress and lineage.

To accompany the exhibition, MUMA have a series of public programs planned, as well as a full catalogue including scholarly essays. The exhibition is a highly ambitious undertaking for the museum, but one that will no doubt be very successful, with an exceptional calibre of artists, and exceptional curatorial direction.

Monash University Museum of Art
To December 14, 2013

Aleks Danko, Art stuffing, 1970, synthetic polymer paint on paper, stuffed hessian bag, 75 x 58 x 30cm
Courtesy the Art Gallery of New South Wales – John Kaldor Family Collection

Meret Oppenheim, Eichhörnchen (Squirrel), 1969, fur, glass, plastic foam, 23 x 17.5 x 8cm
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Purchased 2008
© Meret Oppenheim. Pro Litteris/Licensed by Viscopy, 2013

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Kaldor Projects and Sydney Festival announce Project 28: Roman Ondák

October 15th, 2013 by apowner | No Comments | Filed in exhibition, news

Kaldor Public Art Projects is always worth getting excited about, and this one is no exception!

It was announced last week that Kaldor Projects is teaming up with the Sydney Festival to present ‘Project 28: Roman Ondák’ at Parramatta Town Hall from January 10 to 24, 2014.

The internationally acclaimed contemporary Slovakian artist Roman Ondák is known for his thoughtful and witty installation, performances, and interventions to public space.

Of the cultural contribution that Roman Ondák’s work will bring to western Sydney, John Kaldor (Director of Kaldor Projects) says: “It’s exciting to be bringing a significant exhibition by an international artist to the historic Parramatta Town Hill. I believe these works will appeal to the multi-cultural communities of western Sydney.”

The exhibition will feature three of his works, including Measuring the Universe which was recently shown at MoMA, New York and the TATE St Ives, England, and was met with critical and public acclaim. Measuring the Universe lets visitors leave their height and name on the gallery walls – reminiscent of childhood height charts. Over the two weeks of the exhibition, the height measurements and names accumulate into a mass of markings, creating a swarm pattern and distinctly tactile recording of visitors to the exhibition.

Viewers will also get another chance to take part in the work Swap, which was included in Kaldor’s last work in Sydney – ‘Project 27: 13 Rooms’, at Pier 2/3 earlier in the year. In Swap, a performer takes an object and invites visitors to swap it with anything else they have on them, and this continues throughout the exhibition. This creates an interactive and ongoing chain of exchange of everyday objects and personal belongings, challenging individuals’ relationship and feelings towards their possessions and the notion of value and exchange.

Project 28 will also see Ondák create a new work titled Terrace, and is a reproduction of his home terrace from Bratislava, Slovakia.

Roman Ondák’s poetic investigation of social and cultural conventions relies on visitors participation and will evolve over the duration of the show, engaging us in questioning our usual associations with objects, people, actions and ideas.

Don’t miss it!

Project 28: Roman Ondák
Parramatta Town Hall, Sydney
10 to 24 January, 2014


Measuring the Universe, 2007. View of the performance at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Collection Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and MoMA, New York.
Courtesy the artist, gb agency, Paris, Martin Janda, Vienna and Johnen, Berlin. Photo: Ernst Jank.

Measuring the Universe, 2007, at the Museum of Modern Art. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

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BEAMS Arts Festival

September 14th, 2013 by Owen Craven | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Shining a light on the Chippendale Creative Precinct

Following the resounding success of its first iteration, the BEAMS Arts Festival returns to the lane-ways of Chippendale’s Creative Precinct once more! A kaleidoscope of colour and a dizzying array of artists, performers and musicians will converge to present a cultural programme that’s fast becoming an annual landmark for the City of Sydney.

Under the stewardship of Artist Director, Nicky Ginsberg, the 2013 programme will present a profusion of artistic and creative talent, with galleries, artists, production houses, designers, academics and design students coming together to create a street party like no other. This year will also see a greater involvement from cutting edge musical talents.

The BEAMS Festival is revitalising the creative community and re-imagining the possibilities for the city through collaborative imagination. The community and visitors will participate through hands-on art-making, workshops and plein air performances.

For one bright night the laneways of Chippendale will be filled with the most daring works and performances from this bustling creative community. This year’s themes are ‘Revitalisation’ and ‘New World Cities’, with BEAMS embracing works that open up new dialogues on the future of Sydney’s urban landscape.

The festival is nurturing up-and-coming artists, giving them the opportunity to be displayed in a vibrant festival environment alongside some of Australia’s most talented artists, musicians and performers.

Chippendale Creative Precinct
Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 5-10pm
Balfour and surrounding streets, Chippendale

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