News

  • Sera Waters, FINALIST in the Ramsay Art Prize

    Congratulations to Sera Waters, who has been selected as a Finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize!

    Held every two years, the Ramsay Art Prize invites submissions from Australian artists under 40 working in any medium.

    Finalists will be exhibited in a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia from May 25 to August 25, with the winner announced on May 24.

    Through the generosity of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the winning work is acquired by AGSA.

    Read more about the Prize and the exhibition here.

    Image: Sera Waters, Falling: Line by Line, 2018, vinyl wallpaper (adhesive backed and removeable) and woollen long-stitches, approx. 5 x 8 cm upon 200 x 700 cm wallpaper.

  • Ildiko Kovacs in issue 44 of Artist Profile

    Ildiko Kovacs is featured in issue 44 of Artist Profile, on the occasion of her survey show The DNA of Colour, now showing at Orange Regional Gallery.

    The survey looks at roughly the last ten years of Kovacs’ work (since the publication of a monograph accompanying her survey show in 2011 at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery) and one of the highlights will be the emergence of a new stream of expressive, curvilinear paintings with a strongly graphic character. Sunrise (2018) and Highly Strung (2018), for example, use paint on card with boldly gestural and linear graphite lines worked into a richly textured and layered surface. Yet there is a recursive quality to this new work which links it back to work from earlier years. It is as though the marks then have transmogrified, constantly evolving into new marks, taking on different meanings as they reincarnate.

    Henri Matisse once commented that the significance of an artist was to be measured by the number of new signs he has introduced into the language. A sign is an image which embodies the meanings distilled from lived experience. So, it is apt that Kovacs should say of a survey that it is ‘the luxury of bringing together a history of what I’ve gone through and the relationships that have shifted’.

    Certainly, the joy of a survey that works is to recognise a recursive character to the work, enabling the viewer to appreciate not so much a progression in an artist’s work, but rather an ever-deepening and enriching exploration of visual experience, the seeds of which were there right from the beginning.

    Read the full profile online.

    Image: Ildiko Kovacs, Sky, 2013, oil on card on linen, 122.5 x 103 cm.

  • Lisa Roet’s ‘Baboe’ in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands

    Lisa Roet’s ten-metre-tall inflatable gorilla, Baboe, is now installed atop the Apeldoorn town hall in the Netherlands.

    The artwork is modeled on Bao Bao, a gorilla who lives in Apenheul Primate Park, a revolutionary cageless conservation centre where over 70 species of apes and monkeys live and roam freely in the forest.

    Baboe is a collaboration with Felipe Reynolds and Airena, and is on display for 8 months in Apeldoorn.

    Images: Lisa Roet’s Baboe in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, 2019.

  • Nana Ohnesorge’s ‘No Picnic at Ngannelong’ at Art Gallery of Ballarat

    Nana Ohnesorge’s No Picnic at Ngannelong is now showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

    German-Australian artist Nana Ohnesorge was 21 years old when she saw Peter Weir’s 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock on German television. At the time, she was deeply affected by the power, spirituality, and mystery of country and its ancestors.

    After moving to Australia, further research led to an understanding of significance of Hanging Rock (Ngannelong) as a site of deep spiritual significance for the Wurundjeri people and for the Taungurung and Dja dja wurrung peoples.

    In No Picnic at Ngannelong, Ohnesorge presents Joan Lindsay, author of the 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, as the creator of a myth which has perpetuated through time and continues to draw visitors to the distinctive geological formation.

    The cameo format of Ohnesorge’s works reflect the domestic Victorian interior of the Lindsay Family Sitting Room which is on view on the ground floor of the Gallery. The recreation the sitting room from the Lindsay’s family home Lisnacrieve in Creswick, was an initiative by Daryl Lindsay, a member of the famous, creative Creswick family.

    Exhibition runs until August 4.

    Image: Nana Ohnesorge, Picnic at Ngannelong, 2018, pigment pen, acrylic paint, and aerosol on canvas, 71 x 61 cm.

  • 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.