UNSETTLED: RECENT ACQUISITIONS OF AUSTRALIAN ART
TALK Join Maria Zagala, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawing & Photographs in-conversation with artists Charles Robb, Ariel Hassan, Johnnie Dady and Simone Vinall in the exhibition. Tuesday 4 June 12.30 - 1.30 pm
This display presents recent acquisitions of contemporary Australian art. The works explore a wide variety of concerns, although specific threads unite the display. One of these is a desire by artists to disturb or unsettle the viewer. Their purpose and strategy differs: for Locust Jones in his drawing Social atrocities, it is to use the modest mark of a drawn line to expose the propaganda of the mass media; for David Noonan, Peter Booth and Rick Amor, it is to present a recognisable yet alien world, akin to one we might encounter in a dream. Brent Harris evokes a menacing atmosphere in his prints, The fall.
The images build a sense of narrative that alludes to the presence of evil. The tone of all these works is difficult to gauge – it is sinister and comical in equal parts. The sense of the uncanny that one has in a dream – or nightmare – is also present in Charles Robb’s large installation of a hanging man, Address.
Other works consider the relationship between painting and photography. Dale Frank and Ariel Hassan approach their media in unexpected ways, disturbing our expectations of what constitutes a painting or photograph. Their enquiries into the limits of art harness the power of the aesthetic and revel in the malleability of paint and the seductive surfaces of photography.