O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism

Making Modernism at Heide Museum of Modern Art assembles the work of Australian artists Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith alongside the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Huge full-length windows let in natural light and vistas of bushland. O’Keeffe’s elongated night vision of a tree, Bear Lake, New Mexico (1930), twins with the pale limbs of a eucalypt outside the window. It is a rare moment when outside distracts from the energies inside the museum.

Aaron Cooper is an interdiscipinary artist working across sculpture, photography and text. His work often engages narratives concerning contested sites and objects. Aaron has recieved support from the Australia Council for the Arts,  American Australian Association and American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia. Recent projects have been developed for The Kitchen (NY), Proteus Gowanus (NY), Sierra Nevada College (NV), among others. Aaron currently teaches at Parsons, The New School and is editor at Unbag, a Brooklyn based publishing platform. 

Forces of Attraction: Fernando do Campo's I Always Hear You Before I See You

Praxis, New York, January 12- Febuary 6, 2017

In a series of lectures delivered at the University of California, Irvine in 2007, Elizabeth Grosz seeks to demystify the artistic 'impulse'. At the center of her analysis is a reference to Charles Darwin. Sexual selection, she argues, is a force essential to aesthetics.

Breakfast of Vulnerables

Without egg and bacon one cannot speak of the soul.(1) Meaning, then, that egg and bacon can act as a placeholder for what the sublime repudiates; egg and bacon as the volume of tourists at Kinkaku-Ji, egg and bacon as a grease-trap somewhere in Vatican City, egg and bacon as sand dunes cordoned off by fluorescent orange bunting, egg and bacon as an excavator in a cemetery, egg and bacon as the barely distinguishable scaffolding supporting each highfalutin endeavour to lift the soul.

Review: Ann Shelton's Dark Matter

Ann Shelton’s retrospective exhibition Dark Matter prompts me to muse on the Ice Age word Bärenschliffe, which has been sounding through the Twittersphere recently.(1) Evoking perhaps Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), the word describes polished rock surfaces in caves that have been worn smooth by the passage of bears. At the level of touch, the surface of an unframed photograph would feel, one imagines, as smooth as cave walls soothed into soft by the slow, regular gait of bears.

Red Pill and the Success of anti-post-internet art

In Matthew Greaves’s Untitled (Secrets of the Female Mind) (2013) a male artist makes a work about a woman talking about how stupid women are. The video was part of Red Pill, the second exhibition at Perth’s Success gallery in early 2016.(1) Red Pill was ostensibly about radical masculinities, a freak show of secret guy stuff. There was a glowing bar fridge full of monster energy drinks and a cherub pissing into a pool that stank of male deodorant.

The State of Painting

It was a rare treat to see three contemporary (mainly Australian) painting exhibitions in the space of a week in Melbourne and Geelong with the closing stages of 2016:  Painting. More Painting at ACCA, the NGV International’s Shut up and paint and the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (GCAP) 2016.

Eugenia Flynn is a writer, arts worker and community organiser. She works within her multiple communities (Aboriginal, Asian, Muslim) to create change through art, literature, and community development. With over ten years’ experience in community arts and cultural development, Eugenia has worked with Kurruru Youth Performing Arts, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, RISE Refugees Survivors and Ex-Detainees, and Blak Dot Gallery. Currently, Eugenia is Executive Officer of The Social Studio, a social enterprise that uses art, fashion and hospitality as a vehicle to improving the lives of young Australians who come from refugee or migrant backgrounds.

Isabelle Sully works as an artist, curator and writer. Her research is primarily concerned with the relationship between culture and administration, a lens through which the art institution is seen as legislator. Originally from Melbourne, she is now living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as she completes her Masters in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute.  

More than Art

On June 7, 2016, a gouache and pencil painting called Ceremony by William Barak (1824–1903) sold at Bonhams auction house in Sydney for $512,400. This was a new record for the visual cultural archivist, diplomat, revered Elder and Ngurungaeta (head man) of the Wurundjeri people of the Melbourne region. (1) His work had previously reached $504,000 at auction in 2009.