News

  • Ildiko Kovacs’ ‘The DNA of Colour’ at Orange Regional Gallery

    Ildiko Kovacs’ The DNA of Colour is now showing at Orange Regional Gallery. Curated by Sioux Garside, the exhibition will tour to the ANU Drill Hall Gallery after its run at Orange Regional Gallery.

    In thinking about Kovacs’ abstract paintings I was struck by the resemblance of her spiralling lines to the coils of DNA. Her rippling forms seem to twist into a vortex or follow an unravelling double helix pattern. The DNA code is a metaphor for the way these paintings unfold and move with colour, sparked by an excavation of inner feelings and intuition…Rippling is a term that scientists used to describe the movement of gravitational waves first discovered as ‘ripples in the fabric of space-time’ by Albert Einstein in 1905–08.

    The exhibition brings together over 35 major works from the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Newcastle Art Gallery collections, along with rarely-seen works from private collections.

    Exhibition runs until June 18 at Orange Regional Gallery.

    Purchase the beautiful cloth-bound, full-colour, 236-page publication here.

    Image: Ildiko Kovacs, Raspberry, 2017, oil on plywood, 79.5 x 82.5 cm.

  • Julia Robinson, Justine Varga, and Kenny Pittock in issue 88 of Art Collector

    Justine Varga, Julia Robinson, and Kenny Pittock all feature in the current issue of Art Collector magazine.

    Kenny Pittock, who first exhibited at the Gallery in 2018, is profiled by Jane Sullivan. Titled Word Play, the piece covers Pittock’s recent exhibitions at MONA FOMA and MARS Gallery, and his upcoming exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery:

    Pittock often lights on objects that are kitsch in the sense that they are valueless or disregarded, but he draws out unexpected lateral associations that give them new meaning.
    There’s sincerity in the way he tried to replicate these everyday objects, from the graphic design details of logos to the crumpled packaging, but he’s not interested in hyperrealism. “I grew up watching Wallace and Gromit. I really like seeing things slightly wonky with a thumbprint in them,” he says.
    This associative mode of working means a studio packed with small pieces and ideas in development, all waiting for their opportunity. “I’m always working pretty solidly,” Pittock says. Part of what he most enjoys is assembling these individual items into exhibitions and longer narratives. He compares it to the way stand-up performances take their 10-minute sets and draw them together into a longer show with a narrative arc. “I really like the way that comedians are able to tell big jokes while telling little jokes that keep you interested throughout,” he says.

    Image: Kenny Pittock, Wallets and Gromit, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 cm.

    Julia Robinson features in the issue as one of five South Australian artists we need to pay closer attention to, as selected by Liz Nowell:

    Her recent work, as seen in Long Ballads at Sydney’s Artspace in 2017 and The National 2019: New Australian Art, features elaborately-adorned gourds. This peculiar, phallic vegetable – that the artist surrounds in Tudor-era ceremonial attire – reflects Robinson’s growing interest in fecundity, growth, and European fertility rituals, some of which are still practiced today. With their overt phallic and seed-spreading references, Robinson’s gourd works draw strong links between nature and sexuality, doing so with a sense of candour, oddity, and playfulness.

    Image: Julia Robinson, Royal Peplum, 2018, gourd, silk, thread, pins, brass, gold plating, steel, padding, and other mixed media, 140 x 80 x 60 cm approx.

    Justine Varga’s Areola, which exhibited at the Gallery from February 7 to March 16, is reviewed by Andrew Purvis for One Sentence Reviews:

    Amongst exquisitely-framed rectangles of colour, the image of a window repeats, signalling the reintroduction of representational imagery to Justine Varga’s photography; a return that coalesces with the artist’s ongoing investigations into the materiality of the photographic process to stunning effect.

    Image: Justine Varga, Lattice #4, 2017-18, from Areola, chromogenic photograph, 165.5 x 127 cm.

    Grab your copy of Art Collector today!

  • Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga in ‘Ways of Seeing’ at the Art Gallery of South Australia

    Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga are now showing in Ways of Seeing at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

    “With a primary focus on contemporary works, Ways of Seeing highlights over 100 recent acquisitions to the collection.”

    Exhibition runs until April 22 in Galleries 9, 10, and 11 at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

    Image: Fiona McMonagle, Dukes, 2017, oil on linen, 70 x 50 cm.

    Image: Justine Varga, Infection, 2016, from Memoire, type C photograph, 144 x 119, ed. of 5.

  • Trent Parke and Justine Varga in ‘Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia’ at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

    Trent Parke and Justine Varga are now showing in Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

    ‘Defining Place/Space’ represents the current state of contemporary photography in Australia through the work of thirteen artists. The exhibiting artists were nominated by esteemed Australian curators of photography, and ultimately selected by MOPA’s Chief Curator Deborah Klochko.

    Exhibition runs until September 22.

    Image: Justine Varga in Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, 2019.

    Image: Trent Parke in Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, 2019.

  • Tony Garifalakis in ‘The National’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

    Tony Garifalakis is now showing in The National 2019: New Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

    The National is a celebration of contemporary Australian art. The second of three biennial survey exhibitions, it showcases work being made across the country by artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds. Through ambitious new and commissioned projects, the 70 artists featured across three venues respond to the times in which they live, presenting observations that are provocative, political, and poetic. The National is a partnership between the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. This year, it has been curated by Isobel Parker Philip (AGNSW), Daniel Mudie Cunningham (Carriageworks), and Clothilde Bullen (MCA), and Anna Davis (MCA). Working in close dialogue, they have developed three distinct presentations of new Australian art that together highlight many of the ideas and concerns motivating artists in Australia today.

    Macushla Robinson has examined the new works in the exhibition:

    A series of abstract images, float-mounted on corkboard, hang on a timber veneer wall. You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, but they were born out of the pages of POMANTƩO (Romantso), a Greek romance magazine popular in the 1970s. We buy magazines for pleasure and consume them in idle time. We put them in stacks in the corners of our houses. They are not highly prized collectibles and neither are they entirely disposable. These particular magazines were written in the Greek language and read in Australia, and as such they represent both an unattainable fantasy and a comforting, familiar consumable. I imagine someone reading them in a living room panelled with timber veneer, thick carpet you can still smell, a boxy television, and an orange lampshade. The home, like the magazines, would be at once aspirational and comfortable.

    Read the full essay here.

    Exhibition runs until June 23.

    Image: Tony Garifalakis, Untitled, 2018-19, from Garage Romance, unique inkjet print on Ilford smooth cotton paper, corkboard, and hand-stained Tasmanian oak, 36.1 x 30.3 x 4 cm (framed).

  • Julia Robinson in ‘The National’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

    Julia Robinson is now showing in The National 2019: New Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

    The National is a celebration of contemporary Australian art. The second of three biennial survey exhibitions, it showcases work being made across the country by artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds. Through ambitious new and commissioned projects, the 70 artists featured across three venues respond to the times in which they live, presenting observations that are provocative, political, and poetic. The National is a partnership between the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. This year, it has been curated by Isobel Parker Philip (AGNSW), Daniel Mudie Cunningham (Carriageworks), and Clothilde Bullen (MCA), and Anna Davis (MCA). Working in close dialogue, they have developed three distinct presentations of new Australian art that together highlight many of the ideas and concerns motivating artists in Australia today.

    Jenna McKenzie has examined the new works in the exhibition:

    Cold, dusty skin swells, ballooning outwards from the perfectly round aperture of a gourd. Tongue or tendril, shoot or sprig, a shock of blue-smocked fabric emanates from an amniotic abyss. Coiled and wrapped, clothed and dressed, silks the shade of a tender bruise adorn the fantastical forms of Julia Robinson’s new work. These otherworldly objects emerge from the suspended animation of their wall fittings. An exotic banquet of surfaces is offered to the viewer, ranging from perfectly smooth metals (polished brass, steel, and gold) and intricately smocked, slashed or jack-plated silks, to the raw, untreated surface of the gourds. Together, they mutate, hatch, split and pierce, invoking the transitional state of metamorphosis.
    Exploration of transformative states is an intrinsic part of the Adelaide-based artist’s practice. Robinson, who works in the fields of sculpture and installation, has an enduring fascination with sex and death. Drawing on a multitude of sources including myth, superstition, folklore, and calendric celebrations rooted in the changing of the seasons, her work reflects an interest in how humans address existence and mortality through ritual.

    For The National 2019 Robinson returns to this fertility motif – slicing, dressing, piercing, and gold-plating the gourd, traversing the dichotomies of interior and exterior. She describes this new body of work as “a dialogue with Hieronymus Bosch about ritual, growth and fecundity by way of his remarkable painting The Garden of Earthly Delights (c.1504).”
    For Robinson, Bosch’s garden is alive with the processes of fertilisation, germination, and ripening. In his hands, the Garden of Eden becomes a site for metamorphoses, redolent with the mutating, hatching, splitting of the plant world.

    Read the full essay here.

    Exhibition runs until June 23.

    Image: Julia Robinson in The National at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2019. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.

  • Sera Waters ‘Going Round in Squares’ at Ararat Gallery TAMA

    Sera Waters’ Going Round in Squares is now showing at Ararat Gallery TAMA.

    The artworks of Going Round in Squares explore ideas around the grids and boundary lines which have governed life in Australia since colonisation. Roads, fence lines, walls, furniture, and even social boundaries reinforce ways of being I have come to call a ‘geometric discipline’. Textile practice especially, performed atop the gridded warp and weft of fabric, is a form of discipline that has historically shaped women’s lives, their education, and opportunities. As women have traditionally been the makers of homes, my artworks re-work textile traditions to explore the disciplining roles of neatness, order, pattern, binding, and containment, all ideas associated with the domestic.
    Each artwork of this exhibition carries a narrative grown from evidence left behind by my ancestors who settled (invaded) and made their many homes in South Australia and Victoria from 1838 onwards. They left behind their particular geometric legacies and altered regions irrevocably in the form of clearing land and the importation of non-native species. Undoubtedly their making of homes un-homed others.

    By re-working domestic materials and traditions, I mine them for knowledge and to break out of restrictive habits, and re-direct these traditions into new trajectories which recognise our ongoing colonising modes in order to shift them for future generations.

    Exhibition runs until June 30.

    Image: Sera Waters, Boundary Wreath, 2017, found woollen needleworks, wool, velveteen, beanfill, and hooks, 210 x 130 cm.

    Sera Waters Illusions of History

    Image: Sera Waters, A Stumped Embrace (Rare Pair), 2016, cotton, felt, string, raffia, stockings, negligees, wool, and crewel, 68 x 90 cm.

  • Paul Yore and Tony Garifalakis in ‘National Anthem’ at Buxton Contemporary

    National Anthem, featuring Tony Garifalakis and Paul Yore, and curated by Kate Just, is now showing at Buxton Contemporary.

    Presenting a cacophonous array of artistic voices and perspectives, National Anthem brings together 24 artists, from a range of generations, who critically address Australian national identity. Built around key works in the Michael Buxton Collection, together with works sourced from beyond the collection, this project reflects on the ways that the desire for a singular national identity often excludes Indigenous histories and denies the multiplicity of voices, cultures and experiences that enrich, contest, and enhance Australian life.
    Channelling humour and satire and engaging in tactics such as play, intervention and confrontation, the artists in National Anthem seek self-determination and collectively hold a mirror up to contemporary Australia, prompting new representations of who we are or who we might aspire to become.

    Exhibition runs until July 7.

    Image: Paul Yore, THIS MOMENT IS CRITICAL (detail), 2014, mixed media textile; found objects/material, beads, buttons, sequins, felt, wool, and cotton thread, 290 x 250 cm.

    Image: Tony Garifalakis, Untitled #1, 2014, from Mob Rule (Family), enamel on type C print, 60 x 40 cm, unique ed. of 2.

  • Paul Yore Selected for ‘Dark Mofo’ 2019

    Paul Yore has been selected to feature in this year’s Dark Mofo!
    Yore will take over the Black Temple Gallery, DarkLab’s deconsecrated church, with soft sculptural pop-art collages and needlepoint tapestry. Yore will transform the space into It’s All Wrong But It’s Alright, a technicolour chapel in which to worship Dolly Parton, Justin Bieber, and other icons of love, sex, and the excessive.
    Dark Mofo 2019 runs from June 6 to 23.
    The full program will be announced on Friday April 12.
    Presale tickets are available Monday April 15.
    General tickets go on sale Tuesday April 16.
    For tickets and more information visit Dark Mofo.

    Image: Paul Yore, Fuck the Pope, 2013, wool needlepoint with wooden frame and found objects, dimensions variable.

  • Janet Laurence ‘After Nature’ Survey Exhibition at MCA

    After Nature, the first major survey of Janet Laurence’s career, is now showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Presenting work from Laurence’s expansive career, the exhibition will features a range of work from sculpture, installation, photography, and video.

    For over 30 years, Laurence has explored the interconnection of all living things – animal, plant, mineral – through a multi-disciplinary approach. She has employed diverse materials to explore the natural world in all its beauty and complexity, and to highlight the environmental challenges it faces today: the era of the Anthropocene.

    Janet Laurence: After Nature includes key works from the artist’s career, with loans from public institutions around Australia and the MCA Collection work Cellular Gardens (where breathing begins) (2005). They encompass her alchemical works of the early 1990s that use metal plates, minerals, organic substances and lightboxes, through to her installations of the 2000s and beyond, incorporating plant and animal specimens within transparent vitrines and ‘wunderkammer’ environments. Laurence’s works reflect on the fragility of the natural world, its plight and potential restoration.

    Central to the exhibition is a major new MCA commission, entitled Theatre of Trees, which brings together the last decade of Laurence’s research into plants, their medicinal and healing powers, and trees.

    This exhibition has evolved from two decades of collaboration between Janet Laurence and MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, who curated Laurence’s exhibition Muses at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne in 2000.

    Janet Laurence 
    After Nature
    1 March – 10 June 2019
    MCA: Gallery Level 1

    Key Links:
    Purchase Catalogue
    Read the Curatorial Essay by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent
    MCA behind-the-scenes short film

    Press Coverage:
    Talking with Trees event series listed in UNSW Newsroom
    Review in The Age
    Review in The Australian
    Review in Art Guide
    Review in Art Almanac
    Review in the Sydney Morning Herald

    Image: Janet Laurence’s ‘After Nature’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2019. Photograph: Zan Wemberley.