Sydney Ball, ‘The Stain Paintings’, Sullivan+Strumpf

The exhibition of Sydney Ball’s ‘The Stain Paintings 1971 – 1980’, has just finished at Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, 709 Elizabeth Street, Zetland, Sydeny, 26th October – 16 November 2013

An inspiring exhibition of some of Sydney Ball’s earlier works that has been resurrected from the artist’s studio and re exhibited at Sullivan+Strumpf. One of these works, ‘October Fields’, was also exhibited in the recent Sydney Contemporary Art Fair by the gallery. The work held up really well amongst more contemporary works, in fact I think it looked stronger and fresher than a lot of other works displayed. It is also inspiring to see an exhibition of an artists work who has been paintings a long time, gone through the ups and downs of taste and fashionability in the art world, and now at 80 years, the artist is again recognized and his works reinvigorated and acknowledged.

http://sullivanstrumpf.com

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Translucent Stains 1976 – 80 (works downstairs), all enamel and acrylic on cotton duck, ‘Great Falls’ 273 x 585 cm, ‘October Fields’, 272 x 482 cm, ‘Oceania’, 303 x 372 cm, ‘Columbus’, 274.3 x 274.3 cm

Sydney Ball (b. 1933, Adelaide) was in the vanguard of Australian artists who elected to live and study in New York (1963-1965). He enrolled at New York’s Art Students League, where he encountered lecturer and mentor Theodoros Stamos, who introduced him to artists of the New York School including Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. The Canto paintings (and subsequent Persian and Modular series) exhibited on his return to Australia introduced hard-edge abstraction, which prompted curator John Stringer to later write that; ‘Ball established himself as a prophet at home by generating large canvases… that seemed to have no precedent in Australian culture.’

Begun during Ball’s second stay in New York from 1969 to 1971, the inaugural Stain series was exhibited at Sydney’s Bonython Gallery in 1973. TheStain paintings were distinguished by their unprecedented scale, but most notably by a new painterliness.

Although colour remained the primary concern, painterly abstraction introduced fresh challenges and an unaccustomed freedom, as Ball began to work on the floor with access to all sides of a painting. Gone were the precisely defined edges, the flatness that had characterised his earlier series, displaced by canvases flooded with splashes and spatters of colour, permitting a fresh openness and luminosity. The Stain series of around 100 paintings preoccupied Ball for almost a decade from 1971 to 1980.

Reflecting on the series in 2013, Patrick McCaughey, who had visited Ball in New York, makes the observation; ‘Each painting is a fresh encounter as if Ball set out never to repeat himself… The Stain paintings are one of the triumphs of Australian art in the 1970s… How good it is to see them again and what miracles of vitality and enterprise they are.’

                             4 Sydney Ball ‘The Stain Paintings 1971-1980’ in conversation with Wendy Walker Uploaded 2 weeks ago                                                                                                                           An interesting interview with Sydney Ball.

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Details of the paintings
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Early Stains and Opaque Stains 1971 – 75, (works upstairs)
All enamel and acrylic on cotton duck, “Orient Journey’ 183 x 244 cm, and ‘Cembelin’, 183 x 244 cm

Current exhibitions at the Hughes Gallery

Three great shows at The Hughes Gallery, 270 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.   2nd November – 30th November 2013

http://www.rayhughesgallery.com

Tim Kyle, ‘Brothers in Arms’, all figurative sculptures using epoxy resin and mixed media

Tim Kyle’s boisterous figurative sculptures are well known and received. He won the 2003 Wynne Prize and his larger than life seated and standing men are recognisable from their outings at Sculpture by the Sea. Kyle is a keen observer of human behaviour. He has endowed his figures with unique expressions that create a real sense of character and personality. As the artist states, “I learnt of the Flaneur in art history and I suppose that’s what these pieces are the product of – observations and evaluations of human behaviour…The subject remains the same, forlorn introspection dosed with a wanton need for clarity from perplexity.”Kyle’s works are all very tactile, you can trace the hand of the artist through the forms created by his fingers in the clay, which is then cast in epoxy resin, forming the “rugged and unapologetic” pieces for which he is known. Drawing is also important to Kyle, who sketches his compositions before sculpting them. The works in ‘Brothers in Arms’ are “new essays on figuration that are directions once held in sketchbooks but never before realised in form.” Other works in this show are crafted out of acid free paper pulp, which the artist enjoys for its “expressive nobility and physical strength,” characteristics that can also be used to describe his body of work in general.

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‘Gumption’, mixed media, 57 x 40 x 25 cm

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“Nigel’, mixed media, 69 x 30 x 17 cm

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‘Damo’, epoxy resin, 75 x 29 x 22 cm, and ‘Poirot’, mixed media, 45 x 24 x 14 cm

At the same time, Pru Morrison, ‘A nod is as good as a wink’, all ceramics, porcelain, terrasigillata, underglaze pencil and glaze

Brisbane based ceramisist Pru Morrison uses her finely crafted porcelain pieces to comment on everyday life in Australia. Drawing from a variety of sources, from politics to art history, the works are as topical as they are beautiful. For Morrison, “The most enjoyable part of my arts practice is creating an open story. I spend a lot of time in parks and on street benches watching and noting small mannerisms and everyday colloquialisms of people as they pass by. I record these sketches in a small notebook to use as a starting point when I return to the studio. Ideas often overlap with observations on current affairs, the arts and the poetry of politics…as I see it.” These drawings form only one part of Morrison’s practice, as they are scratched onto vessels which Morrison constructs using a variety of molds and hand building techniques. Once assembled, these forms resemble utilitarian objects like teapots or vases, but with a twist. The handle of the pot may be in the shape of a horse’s head or the vase resting on four sets legs, for example. To get their unique, finely coloured and textured effect, the surface is then layered with a fine slip called terrasigillata that is mixed with body stains to produce the colours. After this Morrison scratches through the different layers of colour to build the drawing, and adds black underglaze pencil that is fired onto the porcelain surface.

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‘The Song of Waste’, 21 x 20 x 6 cm, and ‘Hose for hire’, 15 x 19 x 5 cm

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‘Bowls, Porcelain’, 18 x 12 x 7 cm, and ‘Sheesh’, 21 x 11 x 8 cm

Also a mixed show, ‘Life’s a beach‘ in the main gallery. Works included Jason Phu, Nick Collerson, Michael Bell, Peter Powditch, Lucy Culliton, and Cameron Haas to name a few. As well as Joe Furlonger, whose work I have admired in the gallery for a long time. Bellow are details from one of his earlier Circus series paintings, which is in the entrance foyer.

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Opening of America painting a nation, Art Gallery of NSW

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painting a nation

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What makes Americans American?

See the art that defined a nation in the most ambitious survey of American painting ever seen in Australia.

With many masterpieces shown here for the first time, the exhibition brings together over 90 works from major artists, such as James Whistler, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock.

Encounter the epic stories and dark chapters in American history, the sublime poetry and drama of the land, the ambition and optimism of the country’s pioneers, and the challenges of the frontier. Share the intimacy of family life and the gritty realism of the modern metropolis in this vivid account of the American experience.

With all-American theme nights, a huge Thanksgiving party, a greasy spoon diner, kids’ activities, films, boot scootin’, live bluegrass, hands-on workshops, pop-up bar and so much more, the Gallery turns red, white and blue. Join us as we breathe life into history and celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly in American culture, food and politics.

This exhibition is in collaboration with Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/america

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Opening Night

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‘America’, the next day, outside the front of the Art Gallery of NSW

Newtown Festival, Sunday 10th November, 2013

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About The Festival

Presented by: The Newtown Festival is the principal fundraiser for the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) which aims to build an inclusive, resilient, self-reliant and creative community. All monies raised by the Festival are returned to the Centre to provide community support services to the local community and in particular the disadvantaged groups such as the aged, people with disabilities, people who are homeless, people with mental illness, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people on low incomes. NNC lives by its motto striving for “A just community that includes and acts

http://www.newtowncentre.org/festival/index.htmlSustainability

Newtown Festival is passionate about sustainability. The festival has a ‘no plastic water bottle sales’ policy at the event, so remember to bring your own water bottles on the day. Take the pledge to drink tap today…

A great day at the annual Newtown festival

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A garden in the back streets of Newtown

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Street art in Newtown

National Art School, Postgraduate Exhibition, 2013

I went and had a look at the National Art School, Postgraduate exhibition, Sydney, for 2013, held at the National Art School Gallery.

Some interesting work.

http://www.nas.edu.au/NASGallery

Emporio Armani National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition 2013 

Exhibition: 1- 9 November 2013, Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm  The National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition showcases the best emerging talent from students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) and Master of Fine Art.

http://www.nas.edu.au

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Rachael McCallum, ‘Bananas’, earthenware ceramics

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Rachael Mc Callum’s work in the ceramic display case, C Block

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Joanne Makas, ‘Yellow streak’, installation

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Ann-Mare Jackson, ‘Boxed 1’, ceramic and plywood

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Kirsten Drewes, ‘Terminus- part 3 + conversation’, paper-mache, acrylic paint, fur, string

Art Studio Trail, Southern Highlands

Part of the Southern Highlands Arts Festival is the Art Studio Trail

2nd & 3rd November and the 9th & 10th of November 2013

http://www.shaf.com.au

Once again the feature event of SHAF is the annual Southern Highlands Art Studio Trail, when artists open their studio doors and allow visitors inside to explore their creative habitats across the first two weekends of November, 2013.

This year 22 studio doors are opening for the Art Studio Trail, so visitors will be able to meet the artists, see their work in the place it was created and purchase directly from the studio door.

A few examples from the day;

 The outdoor wood fire Burry box kiln

The outdoor wood fire Burry box kiln
Studio 2: Hillside Pottery
Ann and Peter Schmid
Creating functional ceramic wares at their Hillside Farm for over 22 years, using both a studio gas kiln and their wood fired Burry box kiln.
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Studio 4: Heidigarden Art
Heidi McGeoch and Sam Larwill
A rambling sculpture garden with sculptures in steel and ceramics – garden gates, benches, fire braziers and water fountains.
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The vegetable garden at the back

The vegetable garden at the back

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Studio 22: Cloud Farm
Ceramist Celeste Coucke and composer/image maker Stephen Fearnley
A great studio, designed by Celeste Coucke

A great studio, designed by Celeste Coucke

Interior with work by Julie Krone

Interior with work by Julie Krone

Interior with ceramics by Celeste Coucke

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The surrounding landscape, on top of the ridge, looking out to the coast line.

The surrounding landscape, on top of the ridge, looking out to the coast line.

Clovelly Road, Better Block

Clovelly Road Better Block

27th October 2013, Between Arden and Beach Streets

facebook.com/ClovellyRoad

http://betterblock.org

The local community is making Clovelly Road better for a day. We’re adding trees, plants, tables, chairs, art, music, slowing car speeds, and creating better, safer conditions for everyone – including kids, seniors, and people walking and cycling.

The aim is to bring the community together, to encourage everyone to re-imagine the streets, and build momentum for permanent improvements.

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A great day and it’s a great initiative.