Home@735 director Madeleine Preston has new sculptural works opening at Maunsell Wickes Gallery next Tuesday the 15th. Come along for drinks from 6-8pm at 19 Glenmore Road Paddington.
“…my new work uses Philip Guston’s later paintings, and specifically his pallette to create forms and groupings about the trouble we find ourselves in when we allow populism to succeed. The period Guston created his Nixon series in and the Watergate crisis has resonances with today’s political climate and with the workings of the current US administration. Using media traditionally associated with the domestic – textiles and ceramics – the commentary is not literal or loud. Instead the work acts as an interloper between the internal domestic world and the external one of world politics…”
Also showing works by Gerry Wedd, Bern Emmerichs, Jane McKenzie, Valerie Restrict & The Bankstown Koori Elders Group.
Many thanks to Vanessa Berry for her excellent piece on our current exhibition.
The air feels charged when a storm is imminent, the electric sense that rain is on its way. I’d been watching the gathering storm in the sky as I made my way to the gallery, and entered the hallway with my thoughts still up there in the electrified clouds. It was the right frame of mind to encounter Adam Norton’s Visionaries. The deft, detailed black and white portraits are of scientists, scholars and writers who pursued unexplained phenomena and guided our thinking beyond the terrestrial world. Their work and ideas are more familiar than their faces: Dr John Mack, the controversial Harvard psychiatry professor who studied alien abductees; astronomer Dr Jill Tarter whose search for extra-terrestrial life inspired Jodi Foster’s character in Contact; and the prolific, paranoid, sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, whose novels are dystopian parables for contemporary culture.
Individual encounters with the immensity of the universe take an intimate form in Tim Corne’s series of redrafted ambrotypes. A form of wet-plate photography popular in the mid-nineteenth century, ambrotypes were displayed in cases which opened like lockets to reveal the framed image inside. Corne carefully gathered a collection of damaged ambrotypes from antique stores as the basis for these works. Now the cases contain the ambrotype images reconfigured: galaxies and constellations formed by working into the chemical reactivation of the emulsion. The dynamism of the chemical process remains in the blotched, stippled surfaces so in their reworked state they seem animate. If you were to snap one of the cases shut, it would be like closing the curtains on a night sky: the constellations inside continuing their slow, astronomical movement.
I have followed the trail of visionaries upstairs to the top of the gallery and they have led me to galaxies. Now I follow another trail back downstairs, one this one beginning with the soft, smudged figures of Mason Mulholland’s Gridiron Girls. The figures are piled together at the centre of the image, shoulder pads like wings, frozen in a split second of motion. The sport is one of force, but here the moment is softened and the figures seem to meld together.
This tension between the gentle and the powerful continues in the main room of the gallery, with Elizabeth Rankin’s set of six large drawings. They are inverted faces composed of layered charcoal and wax, their expressions ones of inscrutable peace. Their somnolence is a contrast to the busy room, where people are gathered chatting, full of vitality; the faces feel like the room’s silent guardians. It’s not immediately apparent to me that these are faces of the dead, but when I realise this I feel a rush of tenderness towards them. Elizabeth described to me how she builds the image from an initial charcoal drawing, then layers of wax and oil, caressing the page as she works on it. This process explains, perhaps, their moody empathy.
The faces of the two women in Baklang Sok’s video work The Absence are obscured by their long hair which falls forward to hang down in a smooth slick of shiny black. The women lean into each other, embracing, holding the pose and trying to remain as still as possible. But there is always movement, even if slight. In tiny motions their hair shivers, their bodies shuffle. This, like the exposed faces of Rankin’s portraits, is from the soft and quiet realm of human feeling, the realm of contemplation. And perhaps this is what unites all the works in this month’s exhibition at Home, a sense of contemplation, and what portraits, in their many forms, reflect back onto our engagement with the universe, and with each other.
Mid-career survey exhibition by Marko Lulić is currently showing at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria. Curated by Wilfried Kuehn, ‘Futurology’ consists of large scale sculpture and architectural installation.
Since 2000, Lulić has been investigating Yugoslavian and International Modernism. He addresses the relationships of form and ideology and the relation between body and representation in different political contexts. Utopian aspects of the twentieth century are analyzed, translated and queried. Architecture and display – central themes in Lulić’s work, become the means of a restaging in the museum. The exhibition runs till September 10. Photos: maschekS.
Sydney based artist Adam Norton will be exhibiting a suite of portrait paintings in our upcoming show opening Thursday the 3rd of August. The portraits feature prominent figures from the ’60s involved in space research and UFO sightings.
Pictured is Dr Allen Hynek, 2010, acrylic on aluminium
“…in the late 1940s Hynek was hired by the US Airforce to help debunk the huge surge in reports of UFO sightings. Although initially sceptical, over the next few decades, he came to believe the scientific establishment were not taking the sightings seriously. He also devised a system of UFO classification, from a close encounter of the first kind, an apparent sighting of a UFO at a distance, through to a close encounter of the fourth kind, which is direct physical contact with an alien…”
Join us for drinks next Thursday the 3rd of August for our upcoming opening featuring 5 artists: Tim Corne (installation), Mason Mulholland (painting), Adam Norton (painting), Elizabeth Rankin (painting) and Baklang Sok (video) – 735 Bourke Street Redfern from 6-8pm – hope to see you here.
Home@735 Invitational closes on Sunday. Come along today and Sunday from 2-5pm to see ‘Hypnotised Into Being’ by Kate Mitchell showing in our video booth.
“…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…”
Pictured is a still from Hypnotised Into Being, (A Self Portrait) 2016, HD digital video 16:9, colour, no sound, Edition of 3 + 2 AP.
Kate Mitchell is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne and Chalk Horse Gallery in Sydney.
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.