CURATORIAL EXPERIMENT

Three of my colleagues from the Contemporary Curating class at UNSW Art & Design, Astrid, Angie, Sophie and I will be conducting a curatorial experiment over the coming 2-3 weeks.

We will be interviewing a number of patrons viewing the Sydney Biennale exhibition at the MCA this coming Monday and recording their responses to a series of questions regarding how technology/social media has changed the way they engage with visual art. These recordings will be uploaded to encourage a response from our online audience.

We will also have a survey of the questions on our social media platforms we would love you all to take part in – this will provide a statistical component to our experiment. We are looking forward to your involvement.

Pictured is the shell work of artist Esme Timbery – part of the Sydney Biennale exhibition at the MCA.

“…Bidjigal elder Esme Timbery is recognised for her decorative shelled models and objects that range from depictions of Sydney attractions to small slippers, frames and boxes….with her sister, Rose Timbery, Esme learnt the skills for shellwork as a young girl, first collecting shells from local beaches on the NSW south coast, before creating her first brooches at the age of seven. Timbery and her sister began selling their shell works in the ‘50s, and Timbery’s pieces were first exhibited in a contemporary art context in 2000 as part of the exhibition ‘Djalarinji – Something that Belongs to Us’ at the Manly Regional Gallery and Museum. Since then, Timbery has been involved in several significant exhibitions and contemporary art projects, and was awarded the inaugural 2005 Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize for two shell-worked depictions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

MELBOURNE COMES TO SYDNEY EXHIBITION FEATURING KENNY PITTOCK

Home is pleased to announce will be exhibiting work by Kenny Pittock in our 2019 program. The exhibition – ‘Melbourne comes to Sydney’ – will feature ceramics by Kenny Pittock and artworks across a variety of mediums by a great group of Melbourne artists. Pictured is one of Kenny Pittock’s ceramic pieces currently featuring in ‘Suburbia’ showing at Cement Fondu in Paddington.

NATIONAL ART SCHOOL GRADUATE NUAN HO EXHIBITING AT HOME

Home is pleased to announce we will exhibiting work by Nuan Ho in our 2018 program. One of the exceptional new artists in this year’s line-up, Nuan is currently completing his Masters at the National Art School.

“…Nuan Ho is a Sydney based painter working within the tradition of figurative painting. Guided by a longstanding interest in the portrait, his practice engages with the depiction of the human figure. His work reveals an ongoing fascination with uncovering the unspeakable aspects of the human psyche. By casting a light onto historical archives his works urge viewers to confront the harrowing side of humanity that resides in all of us…”

Pictured is ‘86’ 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas.

NEW WORK BY MADELEINE PRESTON

This sculptural installation by Madeleine Preston will be showing in the Clay Date exhibition at 541 Art Space – in Art Month. The show also features work by a number of the kil.n.it artists including Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Caitlyn Hurley, Rachael McCallum and Luke O’Connor. Come along to the opening drinks this Friday from 6-8pm – Level 1/541 Kent St, Sydney.

“…Ancient modernism is a response to seeing some of the key works of modernism in a recent residency in Paris. Often the works in the major galleries would show their age with some paintings yellowing, fading or cracking. I wanted to make work that reflected a sense of modernisms antiquity through hand built forms and broken surface treatment. The forms do not manifest the precision of pure geometry and the surfaces with their faded glaze and obscured patterns speak more of decoration than revolution. The wall works create the illusion of form through colour…” photo by docqment

VANESSA BERRY REVIEWS ‘COLOUR & FORM’

Many thanks to writer Vanessa Berry for her compelling piece ‘Internal Logic’ for the ‘Colour & Form’ show.

 

At the end of the hallway at the entrance to the gallery hangs a screenprint by Sydney Ball. Canto XXI is a radiant orange square, which frames a circle of a softer orange, which further frames a stripe of ultramarine. The colours are arresting, their incandescence constrained by the stillness of the precise, geometric forms. It is a distillation of planetary energy, perhaps, or a pattern underlying a mathematical process: one of the gifts of abstraction being the openness of interpretation it bestows on the viewer.

Ball’s Cantos series, initially produced in New York in the 1960s, are landmark works of abstract painting. They were named after an epic poem by Ezra Pound which the poet worked on for more than fifty years. It is fitting for them to be a reference point for these works by Ball, for Ball’s Cantos also set the trajectory of his life’s work: his preoccupation with colour and form.

The two screenprints from the Cantos, produced by Ball in 2003, are something of a lynchpin for the Colour and Form exhibition. The exhibition combines works from Australian abstract artists of the 1960s – Sydney Ball, Michael Johnson, and John Peart – with contemporary artists working with abstraction in painting and sculpture. The three 1960s artists introduce a range of forms of abstraction, from the formal geometry of Ball’s Cantos, to the textured and organic shapes and colours of John Peart’s 1965 acrylic work Untitled #982, and the dynamism of Michael Johnson’s Collins Street #4 and its dashes and drips of colour.

In counterpoint to the historical precedent of representational painting that preceded it, abstract art offers no “window on the world”. It is an opaque viewing experience, an opportunity to look at the materiality of the artwork rather than through it. Nonetheless, abstraction suggests an internal logic: within the boundaries of the work viewers navigate form and colour in sensory and associative ways.

Jonny Niesche’s Personal Cosmos builds on the immersive, floating effect of a colour field painting, using the reflective and shimmering surfaces of mirrors and voile. The viewer is reflected in the work, shadowed within the pink cosmos, visually becoming a part of it and moving within it. Niesche’s sculptural work Cadence loop #10 shares this shimmering quality. The zigzag strip of steel has been painted an iridescent purple-blue which changes in hue as you move past it, and the light angles differently on its surface.

Other works invite a different method of navigation. Sean Meilak’s sculpture series Arrangements, six collections of geometric and architectural shapes, plays with scale so the viewer, too, feels a telescopic shift in perspective. These could be models of ruins or monuments. Or they could be the elements of a visual alphabet, and each arrangement a phrase or a sentence: Meilak’s process is to cast the elements individually, and to compose the arrangements during installation. Each arrangement has the sense of a light touch, of elements drawn together in the moment.

Intuition was also an important part of the process for Celia Gullett’s painting Geometric Abstraction XXI. Gullett uses layers of oil paint to build up a luminous surface, inspired by medieval works on wood. Her use of colour is often intuitive, developing as the work progresses and one colour leads to another. Here she uses a geometric motif of simple, slightly-overlapping shapes. At the overlapping edges the colours change, and the forms seem to embody the shape of a quiet thought.

Abstract forms heighten contemplation, and can suggest a way of thinking as much as a discrete thought. This way of thinking can be playful and indeterminate. In Tomislav Nikolic’s I don’t intend to understand, fields of delicate pastel tones resolve into lines of darker colour within the bright blue of the painted frame. This balance of nebulousness and resolution hints at a thought-state where ideas float, sometimes coalescing, other times drifting. This thought-state contrasts with those suggested by more defined geometry, such as Belle Blau’s Whole Unto Itself, where strong lines create clear boundaries within the space of the canvas, as they open it up into an illusory depth.

Another work of tight geometric composition is Ron Adams’ Lucky Strike for Nicola. Adams’ work takes shape from influences and relationships: in this case the box of matches that is emblematic of his friendship with the artist Nicola Smith. The rows of pale stripes with black tips are interrupted by one varying segment of red, the one unspent match. The red glows with potential, tempting the eye in the same way one’s fingers would reach for the last remaining good match in the box.

The influences that shape abstract work often remain only as the lightness of resonances, but can provide a rewarding insight into the works’ intentions. In Smoker Series – After Guston, Madeleine Preston uses shapes from, and the lung-like pink and black colour palette, of Phillip Guston’s Nixon-era paintings. This establishes a visual connection between two eras of American politics: the Watergate crisis of the 1970s, and the contemporary American political situation of the Trump administration.

The resin sculptures of Kate Rohde also engage with the idea of corruption, taking influence from Adolf Loos’ argument, in the 1913 essay “Ornament and Crime”, that excess in design can have a corruptive influence on society. Rohde’s florid bowls and vases have a gleaming, scampering vitality. Each vessel seems to burst forth with ornamentation, a challenge to the neat boundaries of the object.

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.

VANESSA STOCKARD EXHIBITING IN 2018 INVITATIONAL

Home is pleased to announce we will be exhibiting work by Vanessa Stockard in our 2018 Invitational exhibition opening in June.

“…twenty years of introspection and experimentation, ranging over a number of media, have forged Vanessa’s style and craft, enabling her to reveal complex misdemeanours, while simultaneously demanding the viewer’s self-reflection. She deals with isolation and sadness with intimate care and attention…the deceptive everyday nature of her subject matter belies hidden depths of relationship, feeling and emotion. One could describe her process as absence of thought, a freedom of construct, not unlike the stream of consciousness associated with authors such as Hemmingway and Thomas Wolfe…these works are more like innocent and delicate poems, whispering untold truths with an economy of words…”

Vanessa’s work will be exhibited in our upstairs gallery alongside works by Justin Mortimer, Yvette Coppersmith, Ricky Swallow, Chelsea Lehmann, Nuan Ho, Tony Garifalakis and Natasha Walsh.

Pictured is self portrait as bust (detail), oil on birch, 50x50cm

‘COLOUR & FORM’ IN BELLE MAGAZINE

Big thanks to Belle Magazine for including the wonderful Angela Brennan sculptural works from our ‘Colour & Form’ show in their current issue.

Angela Brennan is represented by Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney.

OPENING TONIGHT

I hope you can join us tonight for Home’s ‘Colour & Form’ exhibition opening. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to curate artworks by 14 exceptional artists.

‘Colour & Form’ includes artworks by Sydney Ball, John Peart and Michael Johnson – three of the artists involved in the seminal 1968 ‘The Field’ exhibition at the NGV – showing alongside some of Australia’s finest contemporary practitioners of non-objective and hard edge abstraction in two and three-dimensional forms.

Thanks to all the artists and galleries involved with in the show with a special thanks to Kate Smith for loaning us the wonderful Tomislav Nikolic work, Darren Knight for the painting by New Zealand artist Saskia Leek and Damien Minton and Watters Gallery for loaning us an exceptional John Peart painting from 1965.

Come along for opening drinks from 6-8pm – 735 Bourke Street in Redfern – kick off your Art Month night at Home!

Cheers, Anthony

SCULPTURAL ARRANGEMENTS BY SEAN MEILAK

One of six stunning sculptural installations by Melbourne artist Sean Meilak showing in Home’s ‘Colour & Form’ exhibition. Join us for opening drinks tomorrow night from 6-8pm for the Redfern/Chippendale precinct night for Art Month.

“… Sean is interested in the psychology of space and his work references the architecture of ancient Rome, film set design as well as modern and postmodern art and design movements. He is particularly influenced by Surrealism, Italian furniture design and the theatrical environments created by filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Reiner Werner Fassbinder…”

Pictured is Arrangement 1, 2018, plaster and plied pigment.

Sean Meilak is represented by Niagara Galleries.

CELIA GULLETT SHOWING IN ‘COLOUR & FORM’

Sydney based artist Celia Gullett will be exhibiting in Home’s ‘Colour & Form’ show. Join us for drinks on Thursday from 6-8pm in Art Month – 735 Bourke Street Redfern.

“…Celia’s work reflects an ongoing interest in surface; stripping the colour to its purest state. In much the same way that the Dutch Masters worked, she builds up the surface of the painting through methodical layering, creating a luminosity from below the surface. She partners colours, creating a dialogue between the physical and metaphysical properties of colour – one hue calling for the presence of another to complete the composition…”

Pictured is Geometric Abstraction XXI, 2017, oil on panel.

ANGELA BRENNAN EXHIBITING IN HOME’S ‘COLOUR & FORM’

One of two sculptural ceramic pieces by Melbourne based artist Angela Brennan showing in Home’s ‘Colour & Form’ opening this Thursday from 6-8pm.

Angela Brennan’s practice incorporates a range of media including painting, drawing and ceramics. She incorporates both abstraction and figuration in her work, and has a varied approach to subject matter, informed by classical and contemporary sources.

Angela Brennan was commissioned to exhibit a solo study in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s major 2016 exhibition Painting. More Painting. In 2017 her work has been included in Shut up and Paint at the National Gallery of Victoria, and the National Gallery of Australia’s touring exhibition Abstraction: celebrating Australian women abstract artists. She has been awarded numerous overseas residencies, most recently the Australia Council studio at the British School of Rome and Artist in Residence at The University of Sydney Archaeological Excavations of the Paphos Theatre Site, Cyprus.

Pictured is Echo, 2014, earthenware – Image courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney.

JONNY NIESCHE EXHIBITING AT HOME

Light activates Personal cosmos, Voile and acrylic mirror – one of two works by Jonny Niesche showing in ‘Colour & Form’.

“…favouring the openness, clarity and seduction of post painterly abstraction Niesche’s works combine the traditions of sculpture, digital printing and installation to recast our understanding of the effects of surface, color and architectural space. Using complex steel fabrication, mirrors and digital printing processes on transparent fabric, Niesche aims to go beyond associative feelings about color and instead bring forth associations from every type of experience: sexual, psychological, religious, metaphysical, architectural, material or superficial…”

Join us for opening drinks on Thursday from 6-8pm for the Redfern/Chippendale precinct night in Art Month.

Jonny Niesche is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery.