Home@735 Invitational features a number of works from the Badger & Fox Collection including photography by Bill Henson, Andre Kertesz, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Brassai, Garry Winogrand, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain and painting by Brett Whiteley. A number of Sydney artists have created responses to these works.
Tom Polo’s The Most Elaborate Disguise (15), 2016, oil stick on paper responding to Jacques Henri Lartigue’s 40 Rue Cortambert, silver gelatin print taken in 1903. Tom Polo is represented by STATION, Melbourne.
A nuanced piece of writing by Stella Rosa McDonald about our current exhibition.
Brassaï: A few years ago, I was in the valley of Les Eyzies in Dordogne. I wanted to see cave art at the source. One thing surprised me: every generation, totally unaware of the ones that preceded it, nevertheless organized the cave in the same way, at a distance of thousands of years. You always find the “kitchen” in the same place.
Picasso: Nothing extraordinary about that! Man doesn’t change. He keeps his habits. Instinctively, all those people found the same corner for their kitchen. To build a city, don’t men choose the same sites? Under cities you always find other cities; other churches under churches, and other houses under houses. Races and religions may have changed, but the marketplace, the living quarters, pilgrimage sites, places of worship, have remained the same. Venus is replaced by the Virgin, but the same life goes on.[i]
I imagine Art as Brassaï’s iterative cave. I imagine Artists entering the cave and heading straight for the ‘kitchen corner’, levelling the earth and preparing the build. But the artist, in this conceit, doesn’t behave entirely like Brassaï’s common cave dweller, who remains ignorant of the home’s previous arrangements. The Artist is totally—and necessarily—aware of what came before. This knowledge is essential if they are to raise the galley again, their antecedence guides their sense. And so, they begin to arrange the kitchen once more, in the very same place, but with difference.
The idea of working ‘in response’ is not an alien task for the artist, whose arrangements form both the echo and the call. The photographer Olive Cotton (whose own 1985 photograph Pepperina Lace is re-formed here in a 2017 ceramic series by Alice Couttoupes) returned to the same subjects with heartbeat regularity in her life. The photograph Willows (1985), for example, could be the opposing view of the very same tree that is depicted in Willow Rain (1940)—and it probably was, only with 45 years in between. Cotton made careful studies of her subjects and she wrote with even greater caution around the photographs that contained them. Her notes were spare and direct and they tasked the image with the heavy lifting. There are no photographer’s notes for Pepperina Lace (1985, showing here). But from the descriptions Cotton assigned to other photographs, we can assume she might have simply noted the delicacy of the flowers and, perhaps, their equivalence to thread. Because of its small scale, Olive Cotton’s daughter Sally tells me Pepperina Lace was possibly sent out by Olive and her husband as Christmas cards for close family and friends in the 1980s. The card making was meticulous and heartfelt on the part of Cotton and her family and took around a week from print to post. Some recipients of the cards threw them away at the end of the season; others kept them carefully, and even framed them. Chance plays no small role in laying the foundations for Art’s cave.
Beneath the city lies another city, there are churches under churches and houses resting atop the foundations of other houses. The kitchen is, now, where it has always been. We return to each other with time.
[i] Brassaï̈, Jane Marie Todd, and Henry Miller. 2002. Conversations With Picasso. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 92
Home@735 Gallery is pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting works by McLean Edwards in our upcoming show opening in Thursday June the 15th.
“…painting in oil on canvas, Edwards’s works are fluid and change sometimes dramatically as those thoughts and ideas correspondingly reform. He also scribes his age in the artwork, often in the corner of the canvas as a countdown to his mortality and signature of his work. Edwards paints in an intriguing manner, his brush strokes are confident and loose and yet by contrast are reinforced with delicate lines and considered details. He skilfully makes this technique look easy, however this approach is achieved through his many years of painting full time…”
Pictured is Art student#18, 2016, oil on canvas. McLean Edwards is represented by Olsen Gallery Sydney
Home@735 Gallery in pleased to announce we will be exhibiting an early Brett Whiteley painting – Figure Of A Young Man 1958, oil on board in our upcoming show opening on Thursday June 15th.
Brett Whiteley (1939 – 1992) is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. He won the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes several times, and his artistic career was bolstered by his celebrity status in Australia and abroad.
Whiteley started working as a commercial artist in 1956, began life-drawing classes at the Julian Ashton Art School and joined John Santry’s sketch club where he became friends with Australian landscape painter Lloyd Rees, who was a strong influence. On weekends Whiteley painted around the towns of Bathurst, Hill End and Sofala, producing works such as Sofala 1958. In 1959 he was awarded the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship, which was judged by Australian artist Russell Drysdale at the Art Gallery of NSW. Whiteley remained in Europe for the next decade, exhibiting his work regularly in group exhibitions in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, establishing an international reputation. He also lived in the USA, staying at New York’s Chelsea Hotel where he socialized with celebrities such as musicians Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan.
Returning to Sydney in 1969, Whiteley moved to Lavender Bay and became involved in the Yellow House artists’ collective in Kings Cross. His work became highly collectable, in particular his Matisse influenced large-scale interiors and landscapes. In 1976 he won both the Archibald Prize for portraiture and the Sulman Prize for genre painting. The following year, he was awarded the Wynne Prize for landscape. He won all three prizes in 1978 (the first artist to do so) and the Wynne a third time in 1984. In 1991 he was awarded an Order of Australia.
Brett Whiteley died in Thirroul on the New South Wales south coast in 1992. His last studio and home in Sydney’s Surry Hills is now a museum managed by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Located at 2 Raper Street in Surry Hills, the studio is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm.
Home@735 Gallery is pleased to announce we will be exhibiting artwork by photographer Bill Henson in our upcoming show. The triptych, Untitled 73,74,72 from The Badger & Fox Collection will be showing alongside paintings by Brett Whiteley, McLean Edwards and Patrick Hartigan. Join us for drinks from 6-8pm on the 15th of June.
Bill Henson (born 7 October 1955) 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.
“…his girls are young and vulnerable because they are natural metaphors for the kind of fragile beauty he wants to evoke, symbols of transient human experience that he sets against the deep void of nothingness or mortality that surrounds them. Eros and pathos are blended in a bittersweet equilibrium that requires a fine tact to avoid the pitfalls of exploitation on the one hand and sentimentality on the other…” Christopher Allen
Henson’s work has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally including the Guggenheim, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Many thanks to Sharne Wolff for her review of 27.04.17.
Home gallery’s exhibition titled ‘27.04.17’ makes for a crowded house – in a good way. Displayed in the stairwell, hallway and first floor, the work of three artists is linked by their collective use of white. Danica Firulovic’s oil on linen paintings, Jane McKenzie’s neat ceramic assemblages and Kirtika Kain’s embossed prints on paper unite in harmony.
Firulovic’s evocative white on white paintings are layered over an unprimed linen support where their almost-perfect edges reveal traces of the artist’s hand. Aside from White Circle Within White Square II each painting is composed of overlaid squares of various shapes and sizes. Moving from the delicate balancing act in Exposed Square and Tilted Square on White to the appealing symmetry of Exposed Square with Three White Borders and White Square on White III, these modest works invite the viewer to indulge in their quiet restraint.
Fitting companion to Firulovic’s work is McKenzie’s series of PoMo White small, playful ceramic sculptures, each of which is comprised of terracotta and Limoges terra sigillata. Meaning ‘sealed earth’, terra sigillata is an unrefined clay slip that was often used in antiquity in place of glaze. Exhibiting a contemporary rustic aesthetic, the terra sig resembles matt white paint while the clay is left visible at the edges of each sculpted piece. McKenzie’s irregular and round-end rectangles – sometimes marked with a ‘tiled’ surface or featuring a cut-out circle – are mobilised in lively constructions and reflect both her architectural training and the influence of 1980s post-modern architecture.
By contrast, the Indian born Kain’s embossed prints exhibit elegant, meditative qualities that subvert the artist’s political intent. Acquiring both the antique character of the paper and acquiring the materiality of their production method, Kain achieves visual effect by utilising embossing’s three-dimensional qualities. Several works titled Gated Community: Floor Plan explore the hierarchies and power structures increasingly evident in society. Referencing hollow prohibitions against caste discrimination in India, a silkscreen work titled 15 is produced with red vermillion powder – a pigment worn by Hindu women as well as the artists of the Renaissance period, among others. The paper is adorned with skewed lines of alphabet letters that cascade down the paper.
The upstairs line-up concludes with a video by Scott Sinclair. Entitled Within Without, it depicts the artist’s antics while he’s cornered under a stairwell. During the droll 9-minute piece, hands, arms and legs randomly appear through a range of small holes cut in a large piece of stretchy bronze fabric while the viewer is left guessing what’s happening behind the screen. Meanwhile, Home’s under-stair ‘booth’ is occupied by Sinclair’s Body line video. Here Sinclair smoothly manoeuvres his line-taped body to replicate a single line on a wall. It’s a deceptively simple performance and a new way to explore line and body in art. Watching it produces a rare ‘I could have done that + yeah, but you didn’t’ moment.
Home’s ground floor also accommodates a suite of paintings by Anthony Cahill and a group of Luke O’Connor’s stoneware vessels. A foil to the monochrome works upstairs, Cahill’s paintings employ a broad colour palette. Painted on a round canvas, He Came of His Own Accord connects Cahill’s new works with his previous shows, while the remaining seven paintings depart from the circular frame. His imaginary compositions disclose tell-tale shapes suggestive of landscape and each painting conceals a human figure. Fluctuations between bright and dark, and varied textures, patterns, shapes and line all contribute to bring about intriguing shifts in depth.
Texture and colour are also distinctive features of O’Connor’s thrown ceramic sculptures. Adjacent to the paintings and resting on custom-made plinths, a corner of the room shimmers with a party of vessels dripped in a medley of pastel glazes. A dose of extra character is accomplished by accessorising the sculptures with numerous ‘imperfections’ – gnarly knobs and hunks of clay protrude in all directions. On the occasion of the April exhibition, a full Home equals a good show.
Olive Cotton (1911–2003) is regarded as one of the pioneers of Australian modernist photography. Cotton’s lifelong obsession with photography began with the gift of her first camera, a Kodak Box Brownie, when she was eleven. She was a childhood friend of Max Dupain’s, and in 1934 she joined his photographic studio, where she made her best-known work, the angular composition Teacup Ballet in 1935. The common threads of Cotton’s work are her use of light and form, keen observation skills and equal treatment of subject matter. Between 1939 and 1941 Dupain and Cotton were married, and she photographed him often; her work, Max After Surfing is frequently cited as one of the most sensuous Australian portrait photographs.
Cotton’s iconic photograph Teacup Ballet taken in 1935 reappeared in Gael Newton’s 1980 publication, Silver and Grey: Fifty years of Australian photography 1900-1950. The following year, her work was included in the travelling exhibition, Australian Women Photographers 1840-1960. In 1983 she reprinted 40 years worth of negatives. Sixty-six of these were exhibited in her first solo show, Olive Cotton – photographs 1924-1984. In 1991, Tea cup ballet was issued on a stamp to mark the 150th anniversary of photography in Australia. In 1993, Cotton was awarded an Emeritus Fellowship from the Australia Council. In 2000, the Art Gallery of New South Wales held Cotton’s first retrospective exhibition. It featured 68 photographs ranging from vintage prints, such as Beachwear fashion shot (1938), Max after surfing (1938) and Only to taste the warmth, the light, the wind (1939), to her early 1990s works. Olive Cotton died in 2003 aged 92. The annual Olive Cotton Award is dedicated in memory of her role as one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers.
Olive Cotton’s work Pepperina shot in 1985 from the Badger & Fox Collection will be showing at Home@735 Gallery in our June exhibition. Sydney artist Alice Couttoupes has created a ceramic piece in response to the photograph. The two works will be show alongside one another in the exhibition.
40 Rue Cortambert by Jacques Henri Lartigue will be on show at Home@735 Gallery opening on Thursday June 15th. One of 9 artworks from the Badger & Fox Collection, the photograph taken in 1903 will hang alongside a painting by Tom Polo responding to Lartigue’s print.
Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) was a French photographer and painter noted for the spontaneous photographs he took beginning in his childhood and continuing throughout his life. Lartigue’s boyhood photographs were almost always candid images taken of his family and friends. Lartigue studied painting at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1915 to 1916. Born into privilege, Lartigue’s father was a banker, and the family belonged to the upper French bourgeoisie. He was afforded time to build race cars, oil paint, and learn the mechanics of photography from an early age.
Lartigue photographed everyone he came in contact with. His most frequent muses were his three wives, and his mistress of the early 1930s, the Romanian model Renée Perle. His photographic work came into art world prominence in 1962 when a meeting with curator John Szarkowski led to a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The importance of the work was immediately recognized, and numerous exhibitions and publications followed.
During his life, he was friends with influential artists such as Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Kees van Dongen, and has served as an important influence to later filmmakers, notably Wes Anderson. Lartigue’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Lartigue was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1975. A collection of his work, Diary of a Century, was published in 1970 (reprinted 1978). Later collections of Lartigue’s work include Les Femmes aux cigarettes (1980; Women Holding Cigarettes) and Les Autochromes de J.-H. Lartigue, 1912–1927 (1980; The Autochromes of J.H. Lartigue, 1912–1927). He continued to photograph into his 90s.
Madeleine and I walked down Bourke Street yesterday to Artspace for a studio visit with Sydney artist Tom Polo. Tom gave us the lowdown on his Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and his 3 months at the cité. Tom also generously gave Madeleine a few ideas on how to navigate her AGNSW residency at the cité later this year. We also got a preview of new works for Tom’s upcoming show at Station Gallery in Melbourne.
We are thrilled that Tom will be painting a response to the Jacques-Henri Lartigue photograph titled 40 Rue Cortambert taken in 1903 for Home@735 Invitational. The two works will be shown alongside one another. The Lartigue photograph is one of 9 artworks from the Badger & Fox Collection we will be exhibiting – the show opens on Thursday the 15th of June.
Eating at the Velodrome, circa 1932 by Brassai will be showing in Home@735 Invitational opening on Thursday the 15th of June. This is one of 9 works from The Badger & Fox Collection we will be exhibiting including photography by Brassai, Lartigue, Kertesz, Max Dupain and Bill Henson.
Sydney artist Nick Collerson will be painting a response to Brassai’s ’Eating at the Velodrome’. The two works will be shown alongside one another in Home@735 Invitational opening in June.
Born Gyula Halász (1899 – 1984), the French photographer Brassai took his name from his hometown of Brassó in Transylvania – now Brasov in Romania. Brassai studied art at the academies of Budapest and Berlin before coming to Paris in the mid-twenties.
Brassaï’s love affair with Paris started at Montparnasse. The pulsating heart of art in Paris, the district was also known as one of its most colourful; its night-time population a kaleidoscope of petty criminals, hoodlums, streetwalkers and pleasure seekers. Brassaï’s first project seized the essence of nocturnal Paris in a series of grainy, textured pictures which set the basis for early street photography. Published in 1933 with the title ‘Paris de nuit’, this portfolio remains the most famous exploration of the city’s hidden underbelly and is considered a classic of early street photography. His series of photo-books of Paris graffiti have also been hugely influential.
One of the most renowned photographers of the interwar period, Brassaï’s reputation was built on contributions to both commercial and avant-garde photography. His long-time friend, the author Henry Miller, nicknamed him “The Eye of Paris” for his devotion to the city.
He was close to many artists including Dali, Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti – many of whom are portrayed in his collection ‘The Artists of My Life’ published in 1982. His relationship with Picasso produced many famous portraits of the artist, as well as important publications including ‘Conversations with Picasso’. The book is a compilation of the photographer’s diary entries in which the image of wartime Paris stands alongside unknown aspects of the personality of Picasso himself. Unable to wander the city streets under the curfew imposed by the German occupiers, Brassaï dedicated the early ‘40s to photographing the works of Picasso in his studio, creating a unique photo-chronicle of the artist’s creative output.
I had a very enjoyable studio visit yesterday with Sydney artist Nick Collerson. Apart from a sneak preview of his compelling new works for his upcoming solo exhibition, ‘Mix’ at Liverpool Street Gallery, we talked about Nick’s motivations for making art, critique, art education, Benjamin and a few of the issues our world will have to deal with in the near future. Along with his paintings, Nick’s studio has a drum kit and a Fender Thinline guitar – we finished the visit off with a jam on a few songs…perfect morning really.
Nick will be painting a response to a photographic work by Brassai from the Badger & Fox Collection titled ’Eating at the Velodrome’ taken in 1932. The two works will be shown alongside one another in Home@735 Invitational opening on June 15th.
Sydney-based artist Kate Mitchell will be exhibiting her video work ‘Hypnotised Into Being’ in Home@735 Invitational opening on Thursday the 15th of June. For this work Mitchell enlisted a hypnotist to induce her into a sub-conscious state and prompt her to respond to a selection of statements that she had earlier provided. Initially approaching the session with a degree of cynicism, the artist was later amazed that she had indeed been induced into a subliminal state. Mitchell physically enacts various prompts related to art history, critical discourse and her own practice, as if playing a game of charades in a hypnotised state. ‘Hypnotised Into Being’ will be showing in our video booth alongside paintings by Patrick Hartigan, Mclean Edwards, Brett Whiteley and photography by Bill Henson.
Selected exhibitions include In Time, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2015); Magic Undone, Artspace, Sydney (2012); and Future Fallout, Chalk Horse, Sydney (2014), Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012); Contemporary Australia: Women, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); The Grip / La Mainmise, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2010); and The Horn of Plenty: excess and reversibility, Para Site, Hong Kong (2009).
Kate Mitchell is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne and Chalk Horse Gallery in Sydney.