ESSAY BY SHARNE WOLFF

The essay written by Sharne Wolff for our ‘Colour & Form’ catalogue has been uploaded to our website and blogs. Pictured is untitled #982, 1965, acrylic, felt tip on paper by John Peart. Courtesy of Watters Gallery. photo by docqment.

COLOUR AND FORM – HOME GALLERY, MARCH 2018
Sharne Wolff

On Wednesday 21st August 1968, Melbourne’s ‘The Age’ newspaper ran a small article tucked to one side of page two. Headlined, On Moon in 1969 ‘possible’. The brief snippet from Washington reported the growing probability of a manned Lunar landing by Apollo spacecraft the following year. The same day, splashed across the front page, an ostensibly more important domestic announcement heralded the opening of the new St Kilda Road premises of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

Amidst much heady fanfare and the palpable optimism of the era, the inaugural exhibition named The Field welcomed crowds at the new NGV. The aptly titled display included works by forty young Australian artists – most of whom had been introduced to American ‘post-painterly abstraction’ by virtue of their overseas travels or via imported exhibitions. By means of The Field, this new generation of artists entered the mainstream with a selection of colour field and hard edge paintings, shaped canvases and sculptures.

Fifty years on The Field is still regarded by many as a ground-breaking show. Its lasting relevance is visible in Colour and Form – which forefronts the work of three of The Field’s original group of painters. Work by Michael Johnson, Sydney Ball and John Peart – the latter two artists having died in recent years– are accompanied by a larger party of next generation colourists namely, Ron Adams, Belle Blau, Angela Brennan, Celia Gullett, Saskia Leek, Sean Meilak, Jonny Niesche, Tomislav Nikolic, Madeleine Preston, Kate Rohde and Louise Tuckwell.

In the cosy confines of Home Gallery’s living room and hallways, Colour and Form’s intention mirrors that of The Field to, “make possible a considered judgement of the work of these artists seen in the company of their fellows and of stylistic principles they share”. . Curator Anthony Bautovich has juxtaposed the work of emerging artists with that of the three original artists, and grouped together unlikely old and new forms in shared spaces. Historical and mid-career painting and mixed-media works from Peart (1965) and Johnson (1987) respectively, are brought together with Ball’s duo of new-millennia screenprints from the 2003 Canto series (first developed in the mid-1960s), and over twenty recently-made paintings, sculptures and ceramic assemblages.

While five decades separate Colour and Form’s oldest and newest examples, the exhibition demonstrates the Australian artists ongoing regard for the international style originally evidenced in The Field. It modestly nods agreement with the proposition that art’s interest in unravelling the mysteries and potential of colour has never waned. At the same time, Colour and Form proposes contemporary means of exploiting and interpreting the genre.

Encouraging the idea of the movement’s continuum from its American beginnings Bautovich is interested in the parallels between Sydney Ball and American artist, Frank Stella. Favouring Stella’s reductionist style that represented a rejection of abstract expressionism – and drawn from the Canto series based on Ezra Pound’s epic series of poems of the same name, Ball’s Canto IX and Canto XXI are examples of this idea. While formally confined by the geometry of their respective circles, they shimmer with intense colour and a paradoxical sense of the shape’s symbolic infinity.

From the next generation of artists in Colour and Form, we can recognise homage to these pioneering artists being fuelled by the influence of contemporary culture. The transcendental effect of colour in Jonny Niesche’s immersive Personal Cosmos signals the work’s affinity with Mark Rothko’s painting of the 1940s and 50s. Rothko publicly insisted that he was attempting to find “a pictorial equivalent for man’s new knowledge and consciousness of his more complex inner self.”. On closer view – as Rothko himself preferred – the medium of Personal Cosmos is revealed as voile and acrylic mirror. This added dimension delivers a twist and endows the painting with savvy power to reflect the viewer in certain light, including when taking a selfie. Meanwhile Niesche’s zig zag adventures with Cadence Loop #10 (cyan to magenta) – constructed from steel and ‘flip flop’ auto paint that encourages angled viewing – suggest his ability to refresh and extend Rothko’s original concept as well as conserving it.

While it may seem obvious, it is worth noting that each of the artists in Colour and Form share a common and profound interest in colour and form, though each has their unique way exploring these elements in their art. Ranging from Adams’ pop-inspired painting and Preston’s politically-associated assemblages to Rohde’s exotic neo rococo sculptures, Colour and Form epitomises the expansion of the genre and the experimental attitude of the group as a whole.

Later this year The Field will be restaged in its entirety at the NGV. Though only a few will personally remember the heady optimism of Melbourne in 1968, it seems the possibilities for colour and form are increasingly timeless.

The Age, 21 August 1968, 1–2, Melbourne, Google News Archive, 20 March 2018.
Finemore, Brian. and Stringer, John. The Field, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1969, 3.
Anfam, David, Ed. Abstract Expressionism. Royal Academy of Arts, 2016, 113.

untitled #982, 1965, acrylic, felt tip on paper by John Peart. Courtesy of Watters Gallery. photo by docqment.

‘COLOUR & FORM’ CATALOGUE

The catalogue for Home’s ‘Colour & Form’ exhibition has finally been produced. The exhibition staged during Art Month in 2018 featured a stellar line-up of practitioners of non-objective and hard edge abstraction in two and three-dimensional forms.

Now available from the gallery, the artworks featured in the catalogue are supported by essays from writers Vanessa Berry and Sharne Wolff.

“…for all their variations in style, artists who work with abstraction use colour and form to play on our associations, transposing our thoughts and perceptions. Sometimes this is an immersive and quiet experience, and other times an exuberant one, and often our engagement is one of transcendence. The works in Colour and Form carry us into their internal worlds, as they are drawn into connection, across the decades…”
taken from the essay ‘Internal Logic’ by Vanessa Berry

Pictured from left is Sydney Ball, Canto XXI, 2003, screenprint Tomislav Nikolic, I don’t intend to understand, 2015, acrylic, marble dust, 13.5ct white gold leaf on linen and wood and Angela Brennan, Potami, 2014, earthenware.

Sydney Ball is represented by Sullivan & Strumpf, Sydney.
Tomislav Nikolic painting exhibited courtesy of art consultant Kate Smith.
Tomislav Nikolic is represented by Fox Jensen Gallery.
Angela Brennan is represented by Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne.

Sydney Ball, Canto XXI, 2003, screenprint Tomislav Nikolic, I don’t intend to understand, 2015, acrylic, marble dust, 13.5ct white gold leaf on linen and wood and Angela Brennan, Potami, 2014, earthenware.

XMAS SHOW 2019

Home’s Xmas Show kicks off tomorrow. We will be open Saturdays & Sundays from 2-5pm or by appointment up until Christmas.

Come along to see a stellar line-up of artworks by Clara Adolphs, Sydney Ball, Glenn Barkley, Stephen Bird, Rupert Bunny, Guy Boyd, Dora Chapman, Nick Collerson, Adam Cullen, Lynda Draper, Patrick Hartigan, Dale Hickey, David Hockney, Michael Johnson, Mason Kimber, Elwyn Lynn, Ali McCann, Sarah Mosca, Sidney Nolan, Nadia Odlum, Madeleine Preston, Garry Shead, Clare Thackway, Tony Tuckson and Mirra Whale.

Pictured is Sydney Ball, Canto XI, 2003, screenprint, P/P and Madeleine Preston, Last Year at Marienbad, 2018, glazed and underglazed earthenware.

Sydney Ball, Canto XI, 2003, screenprint, P/P and Madeleine Preston, Last Year at Marienbad, 2018, glazed and underglazed earthenware.

APÓKRYPHOS SERIES BY CHERINE FAHD

“…there is an unwritten contract that grief is private, unphotographable. Even in the family album it is kept hidden. Family albums celebrate our moments of togetherness; birthdays, holidays and weddings as well as ordinary moments of domestic life. But what of death? What of images of grief and loss?
Apoìkryphos is a response to rare photographs from my family archive. In this series, I offer a forensic examination of mourning and the physical ways in which emotions are visualised, experienced and witnessed. Using image and text I have reproduced 24 photographs taken in 1975 of my Grandfather’s funeral and burial. Using a numerical system of annotations and footnotes, I forensically yet intimately guide you through the mysteries of the event portrayed, offering a visual and literary response to the photographs and to the unknown status of the photographer…”

Pictured is Apókryphos 6-1405, 2019 from Cherine Fahd’s compelling Apókryphos series.

Home will be open today from 2-5pm.

Cherine Fahd, Apókryphos 6-1405, 2019

MADELEINE PRESTON EXHIBITING AT SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY

Home’s Co-Director Madeleine Preston is exhibiting this work with blackartprojects at Sydney Contemporary. Jacob’s Ladder, 2018, underglazed porcelain, copper (pictured) will be showing in the Art Money booth. Photo by docqment

“Jacobs Ladder was made in response to my experiences during a residency at the Cité in Paris. The work responds directly to the way particular museums use culture in the service of ideas of empire.
The Quai Branly museum in Paris has an enormous collection that originates in what the museum calls ‘economic exchanges as the result of the first colonial expansion.’
What struck me most was that a large part if not most of the collection would have been amassed through theft and ‘economic exchanges’ that favoured the buyer – if an ‘exchange’ occurred at all.
The Quai Branly like the British Museum is a study in European imperialism. I wanted to make work about how museums are ciphers for violent histories that use aesthetics and display to reinforce dominant narratives.”

Madeleine Preston, Jacob’s Ladder, 2018, underglazed porcelain, copper. Photo by docqment

TAMARA DEAN EXHIBITING AT HOME

This wonderful work by Tamara Dean is currently showing in Home’s ‘The Portrait’ exhibition.
Pictured is Luca and Aki, 2016, Pure pigment print on cotton.

“There is an arresting beauty in androgyny.

Androgyny challenges our cultural conceptions of femininity and masculinity. The questions that often arise – “Are you a boy or a girl?” or “are you a man or a woman?” – suggest that gender stereotypes, learned behaviour and cultural prejudices can influence the way we perceive and in turn relate to people.

For me androgyny can be perceived as a universal face of humanity…”

Tamara Dean has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. Her works are held in Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra ACT, Francis J. Greenburger Collection, New York, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, The Mordant Family Collection, Australia, Tweed River Gallery, Neil Balnaves Collection, Australia, ArtOmi Collection, New York and Gold Coast City Art Gallery.

Tamara Dean appears courtesy of Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney.

Tamara Dean, Luca and Aki, 2016, Pure pigment print on cotton.

DEBORAH KELLY EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is pleased to be exhibiting work by Deborah Kelly in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition opening this Wednesday.

Taken from Kelly’s 2018 ‘Seven Eves’ series, this body of work recasts the despised figure of the first woman as ancient hope for female learning, as a counterclaim to the malevolent mythologies underpinning Catholic misogyny.

Damning revelations of clergymen’s sexual abuse provide context for this extended meditation on the character of the ‘first sinner’ and her ongoing resonances through human history. She is the original female; the disobedient woman; the emasculating witch; the threat to clerical authority; she through whom man fell: all these women are valorised here in faithful revision of masculinist orthodoxy.

As a biblical character, Eve is alone in a world full of men. Her longing for knowledge is the first and worst sin, the fall of our species whose shame is punished still.

Using images excised from discarded books of western art history, this work suggests insurgent female solidarities, the glories of our mitochondrial ancestress, women’s defiance of religious oppression; and repudiation of the virgin/whore binary informing the deathgrip of the patriarchs.

Pictured is Eve x Eve (Shazzam) from Seven Eves, 2018, Collage, Japanese metallic and Sennelier honey-based watercolours, ink on handmade cotton paper.

Deborah Kelly appears courtesy of Wagner Gallery, Paddington

Deborah Kelly, Eve x Eve (Shazzam) from Seven Eves, 2018, Collage, Japanese metallic and Sennelier honey-based watercolours, ink on handmade cotton paper.

BILL HENSON AT HOME

Home is pleased to be exhibiting work by Bill Henson in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition on Wednesday. Join us for opening drinks from 6-8pm.

Bill Henson is a visionary explorer of twilight zones, between nature and civilization, youth and adulthood, male and female. His photographs are painterly tableaux that continue the traditions of romantic literature and painting. The use of chiaroscuro is common throughout his works, through underexposure and adjustment in printing. His photographs’ use of bokeh is intended to give them a painterly atmosphere. The faces of the subjects are often blurred or partly shadowed and do not directly face the viewer.

Pictured is Bill Henson, Untitled, Diptych, 1983-1984, C Type print. This artwork appears courtesy of Badger & Fox Gallery.

Bill Henson, Untitled, Diptych, 1983-1984, C Type print.

CHERINE FAHD EXHIBITING AT HOME

This compelling work from Cherine Fahd’s Apókryphos series will be showing in Home’s ‘The Portrait’ exhibition opening next Wednesday.

Cherine Fahd is an artist, academic and writer working in the field of photography. Fahd holds a doctorate (PhD) from Monash University, Melbourne and is the Director of Photography at the University of Technology Sydney.
An extensive exhibition history has seen her work shown in major public institutions in Australia and internationally, with photographic work represented in public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego and the Haifa Museum of Art, Israel.
Fahd is the recipient of numerous grants from the Australia Council for the Arts (2018, 2016, 2014, 2007, 2004, 2002, 1999) along with art awards and residencies such as the NSW Women & Arts Fellowship from Arts NSW (2005), Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts Photography Award (2004), National Photography Prize (2010) and the Moya Dyring Studio from the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2003).
Recently, Fahd was awarded the Asialink Creative Exchange (2018) to Varanasi, India. Her work on grief and mourning, Apókryphos (2019), was selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art and awarded a residency at The Clothing Store, both through Carriageworks.
Fahd has published two books, A Portrait is a Puzzle (2017) and Apókryphos (2019), both with M.33 Melbourne, publisher of contemporary Australian photography. Since 2017 she has also contributed to news media through The Conversation and subsequently to Fairfax, ABC news, and SBS, as well as publishing in scholarly journals such as Journal Visual Arts Practice and Journal of Photography and Culture. 

“…there is an unwritten contract that grief is private, unphotographable. Even in the family album it is kept hidden. Family albums celebrate our moments of togetherness; birthdays, holidays and weddings as well as ordinary moments of domestic life. But what of death? What of images of grief and loss?
Apókryphos is a response to rare photographs from my family archive. In this series, I offer a forensic examination of mourning and the physical ways in which emotions are visualised, experienced and witnessed. Using image and text I have reproduced 24 photographs taken in 1975 of my Grandfather’s funeral and burial. Using a numerical system of annotations and footnotes, I forensically yet intimately guide you through the mysteries of the event portrayed, offering a visual and literary response to the photographs and to the unknown status of the photographer…”

Pictured is Apókryphos 1-1405, 2018/2019, Archival pigment print

Cherine Fahd, Apókryphos 1-1405, 2018/2019, Archival pigment print

NICK STATHOPOULOS EXHIBITING AT HOME

This magnificent painting by Nick Stathopoulos will be featuring in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition next Wednesday. Join us for opening drinks from 6-8pm.

Nick Stathopoulos is the son of Greek migrants and grew up in Western Sydney. A self-taught artist, he has become known for his hyper-realistic style, particularly his paintings of his childhood toy collection.

A graduate of Macquarie University, he has worked as an artist for over 30 years in film, television, animation, and book publishing.
Nick is a five-time Archibald finalist. His 2016 entry of Sudanese refugee lawyer Deng Adut was voted ‘People’s Choice’ to great critical acclaim and media attention. He has also been a two-time finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Pictured is Deng, 2016, acrylic and oil on linen

Nick Stathopoulos is represented by Maunsell Wickes Gallery.

Nick Stathopoulos, Deng, 2016, acrylic and oil on linen

THE NEWTOWN JETS – DEAN MANNING

Bumper, Chicka, Tom Terrific, Lord Ted, Gibbo, Wuzza, Chook, Singo.
Everyone had a soft spot for the Newtown Jets.
By day they were garbos, cops, tradies & teachers.
Come the weekend they were giants.
We sat on grassy banks under the manual scoreboard with Frank Hyde in our ear.
After a trifecta of wooden spoons and financial woes they were ejected from the
competition in 1983 but far from forgotten.
(words by Dean Manning)

Home will be exhibiting this wonderful painting by Dean Manning in our ‘The Portrait’ exhibition opening next Wednesday the 28th.

Dean Manning came to painting late after a long career as a composer/musician with rock groups Leonardo’s Bride and Holidays On Ice. He now regularly exhibits his paintings and animated films.
He has been a finalist in the Sulman and Blake prizes and his portrait of comic actor, writer and director Lawrence Leung was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize. His work is held in the collections of Artbank and Deakin University.

Pictured is I Got Sunburnt Waiting for The Jets, 2017, oil on wood.

Dean Manning, I Got Sunburnt Waiting for The Jets, 2017, oil on wood.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZORICA PURLIJA

This stunning image by Zorica Purlija will be showing in Home’s ‘The Portrait’ exhibition opening on Wednesday the 28th of August. Join us for drinks from 6-8pm – 735 Bourke Street Redfern.

Currently working towards her Masters of Art in Photomedia at UNSW Art & Design, Zorica has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize three years consecutively, twice in Sydney’s HeadOn Portrait Prize, a finalist in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize Melbourne, Duo Magazine Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, The Kuala Lumpur Photographic Portrait Award, Mama Art Foundation Photography Prize in Albury, Josephine Urlick Award in Queensland and the Olive Cotton Award for Portraiture.

Pictured is Complicated, 2018, Baryta fine art photo rag.

Zorica Purlija, Complicated, 2018, Baryta fine art photo rag.