Joshua Yeldham was the last solo exhibition at Art House Gallery for 2013 (I also exhibit at the same gallery), dates from the 20th November to 14th of December, at 66 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney. His works are a virtuoso in paint and carved pigment print on cotton paper, the colours, textures and surfaces are beautiful and seductive. The work is inspired by his home and studio setting, along the banks and on his boat, at Pittwater, (above Sydney), along the mangrove and inland water inlets.
Damien Minton Gallery has created a great new initiative , ‘One Night Stand’, over 14 nights, 14 consecutive shows are held within the gallery space, 583 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, Sydney, running from 9th December to the 22nd December. I have managed to make to two of them so far, night 9, Tuesday 17th, ‘Low Relief’ curated by artist Connie Anthes, and night 11, Thursday 19th December, the works of Rachel Burns and Ulan Murray. It is really great to see such a range of artworks, artists practices and creatives from all fields and spectrums all exhibiting in such a whirlwind affair. Contributers to ‘One night stand’ range from the South Sydney Multicultural Community Center, Art Teachers, performers, Paul McDermott and Paul Livingston, the cooperative and pottery studio ClayPool and muscian, Robert Moore. Such contributers, often lying outside the traditional commercial gallery scene, has created a dynamic and energizing series of eventful nights.
Tuesday 17 December 2013
Low Relief, curated by Connie Anthes
“Inspired by two sets of gun-metal grey plan drawers acquired by artist Connie Anthes when Sydney’s last map shop closed in 2011, Low Relief explores the possibilities of shallow space and its relation to mapping place, time and ideas of perception. Twenty artists have each responded to a drawer with its original label intact, with the work to be displayed in situ and experienced one-on-one by the audience.
20 drawers/20 artists, including: Matthew Allen, Sarah Breen Lovett, Catherine Cassidy, Criena Court, Michaela Gleave, Sarah Goffman, David Haines, Janet Haslett, Greg Hodge, Leahlani Johnson, Anna Kristensen, Abbas Makrab, Noel McKenna, Ian Millis, Eric Niebuhr, Peter Nelson, Madeleine Preston, Peter Sharp, Floria Tosca, and Paul Williams.”
Thursday 19 December 2013
Rachel Burns + Ulan Murray
“This series of paintings deals with the Australian culture of the road trip. Living in such a vast and largely vacant land we often find ourselves travelling long distances, in our cars, at speed. As we drive through the landscape some things attract our eyes and others just become a blur of colour and form.
‘My works never attempts to be a realistic interpretation of the landscape but rather a jumble of remembered and imagined forms’
The sculptures celebrate the beauty and intricacy of nature. By altering the scale and abstracting the forms the works reflect nature’s mathematical structures. They look at the fragility and complexity of life forms reflecting the care needed for our ecological systems.”
Last week I caught up with Tanya and her beautiful show, ‘Moon Days’, at Stella Downer Gallery, at Danks Street, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, Sydney. I have always admired Tanya’s work, the combination of the whimsical, pictorial and the allegorical combined with a thoughtful and contemporary treatment of space and surface.
“Ambiguity and whimsy are important elements in TANYA CHAITOW’S work and her fanciful paintings and drawings blur past and present, fact and fiction, internal and external reality. Adopting a naive style, CHAITOW is able to work intuitively to capture fleeting mental states and her poetic works are charged with a powerful psychological resonance. Working with a troupe of impossible characters, often part animal part human, CHAITOW offers up a vision of her personal mythologies. Like a playwright she enlists us in imaginary worlds where we are free to reflect and fantasise.”
‘Moonlight’, acrylic on board, 12.5 x 35 cm, ‘Last Friends 2’, ‘Last Friends 1’ , both acrylic & enamel on board, 25.5 x 18 cm
All acrylic on board and 25,5 x 18 cm, ‘It is truth I bring you’, ‘Full Moon’, ‘New Moon’, ‘Here night time is forgotten’, ‘Preparing for your arrival’
Both acrylic on board, 25,5 x 18 cm, ‘Time doesn’t exist’, ‘Full Moon’
‘Tracks of tomorrow’, acrylic on canvas. 33 x 33 cm
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.
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.
Overland: From the Cradle to the Lake
Ceramic works by Barbara Campbell-Allen
28 September – 13 October 2013
Incinerator Art Space, 2 Small Street, Willoughby, Sydney
Barbara Campbell-Allen is my ceramic teacher at Workshops Art Centre, Willoughby. Her work is beautiful, and this was a great exhibition, and installation.
Ceramic artist Barbara Campbell-Allen is exhibiting a series of ceramic installations embedded in the evocative environment of Central Tasmania. This work reflects Barbara’s journeys through the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Parks.
“The abiding characteristics of Campbell-Allen’s practice are an exploration of the expressive capacities of clay and anagama-style wood-firing, and an embodied relationship to land, with many works developed in response to specific locations. In Overland; From the Cradle to the Lake, Campbell-Allen’s concern is for the groupings to convey the different emotional sense of each landscape and her journey.”