EXHIBITION ON SCREEN, the pioneering series of cinematic films about exhibitions, galleries and artists returns for a sixth season with Degas: Passion for Perfection, in cinemas across Australia from 6 June 2019. Directed by David Bickerstaff, the film journeys from a superb exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where the UK’s most extensive Degas collection is held, to Paris and Italy, where Degas spent his formative years and taught himself to paint.
Powerhouse New York painter Doug Argue brings a show of entirely new work, Transitions, to Oceania for the very first time. Piermarq is humbled by the opportunity to exhibit one of the international art market’s rising stars, this new body of work presenting cosmically sublime abstraction previously unseen in Australia.
Doug Argue (b. 1962, Minnesota, United States) has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, spanning four decades. Most recently, One World Trade Centre in New York City commissioned three large-scale paintings to be installed in the lobby. His works are held in major public, private, and corporate collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Centre, and the Weisman Art Museum.
Argue has received multiple awards including The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (1995) and the Rome Prize (1997). The non-profit Save Venice Inc. presented Scattered Rhymes, a series of four monumental paintings by Argue that was a major exhibition in the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Argue’s paintings are often made with layers of radiant brushwork and scrims of crisp stencilled letters that envelop the entire canvas to suggest the passage of time, light, motion, and how the past informs the present. In technique, his is a dichotomy of precision and painterly gesture. In content, his paintings are cerebral, with interweaving narratives and layers of meaning.
The atomised letters, “particulate matter” as Argue calls them, are culled from various texts including writers such as Petrarch, Melville and Rimbaud. They work harmoniously with other visual elements to create the possibility for unlimited patterns and meaning. Argue’s use of letters are usually not meant to be read, rather, they serve a spatial or rhythmic function. Like visual musical notes, they float, stretch, skew, or dance en masse in swathes across the plane.
Argue’s Dyslexia has lead to a fascination with how the brain registers and interprets symbols, the endless combinations of which can form equally endless possibilities. Hence, letters become for him a metaphor for the micro getting thrown into the macro and somehow, randomly, creating Life.
“I noticed how letters, like atoms andchromosomes, are basic building blocks that can be taken apart and constructed in new ways, and through time the forms they create change, like Heraclitus’s river in the aphorism that says that you cannot step into the same river twice; and so everything is in a constant evolutionary flow.” Doug Argue
Doug Argue is a consummate painter capable of prodigious works that straddle realism and abstraction. In “Genesis,” one of his three large paintings recently commissioned for the lobby of the new World Trade Centre in New York City, Argue’s painting is veiled with sweeping swathes of crisply painted letters. It is as though we are placed “in the beginning,” witnessing a cosmic explosion. Argue has freed the letters from the Book of Genesis, making them available for the next generation to create the new meanings needed to move forward.
“There are many different histories in the world, and we often see things in the current moment, yet have no idea what lies beneath. One language is always turning into another, one generation is always rising and another falling, there is no still moment. I am trying to express this flux – this constant shifting of one thing over another, like a veil over the moment itself.” Doug Argue
The Piermarq Art Gallery is located at 76 Paddington Street Paddington
Exhibition dates: 21st March – 13th April 2019
Opening Night: Thursday 21st March, 6-8pm
Featured image- White Water, 2018 Oil on canvas. Pic Doug Argue studios
Zed Gallery’s collision between the Sydney’s underground music scene and fine art continues with another sumptuous opening on March 30. The latest Zed exhibition is expanding on last month’s sold out event, Photo + Paint + Illuminate is a group exhibition featuring photography, painting and installation.
Music features solo pieces from Sydney’s finest underground and Indy scene.
The exhibition is an event, a happening, so come on up and enjoy the chill-out on a sexy Glebe afternoon.
The Zed Gallery is located at 36 Glebe Point Road Glebe
The National Art School has been confirmed for a 45 year lease and ongoing funding as a State Significant Organisation by Don Harwin, the NSW Minister for the Arts. The announcement of long term occupation by the National Art School of the current site at the old Darlinghurst Gaol in Sydney will allow significant growth and development as it continues to build an art school for the 21st century.
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said, “The National Art School has called the old Darlinghurst Gaol home since 1922 and I’m delighted to confirm a new agreement for this historic property recognising the important role it plays for the promotion of the visual arts in the State. NAS has a stellar history and has produced some of Australia’s greatest artists. With a 45-year lease, its future is secure.”
The National Art School joins the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and Carriageworks as a State Significant Organisation. This status is granted to arts organisations with annual incomes of over $2.5million that make a significant contribution to New South Wales’ arts and cultural profile, demonstrate strong management and deliver benefits across state wide communities. Continue reading NATIONAL ART SCHOOL TO STAY AT OLD DARLINGHURST JAIL SITE→
RHYTHM SEQUENCE is the first career survey of Australian artist Gemma Smith. The exhibition traces the development of Smith’s practice since 2003 and its experimentation with the language of painting. It celebrates Smith’s reworking of abstract codes and styles, as well as her testing of colour, form and painterly gestures.
RHYTHM SEQUENCE features more than 50 paintings and sculptures drawn from collections across Australia. Many of the works are being exhibited for the first time since their original exhibition. Included are a collection of Smith’s earliest paintings depicting crystalline forms and geometric compositions on chessboards; sculptural ‘boulders’ and ‘adaptables’ where colours are reconfigured and interact; as well as hard edge and gestural works that explore the blocking, translucency and opacity of paints. The exhibition also includes Smith’s most recent works in which colour is barely perceptible.
The exhibition comprises an arrangement of small boards and large canvases which together reflect the physicality and intimacy of the artist’s studio work. Rather than reflect a chronology, the exhibition is sequenced to emphasise Smith’s playful engagement with ideas of juxtaposition and disjunction, and her enduring interest in the act of painting itself.
UNSW Galleries presents RHYTHM SEQUENCE - Gemma Smith. 15 March–1 June,2019.
Opening Event: 6–8pm Friday 15 March. Exhibition to be opened by celebrated Australian writer, curator and broadcaster Julie Ewington.
Artist in Conversation: Saturday 16 March 3pm. Learn more about this exhibition in a conversation between the artist and Julie Ewington.
Entry is free. See more about RHYTHM SEQUENCE here.
On Wednesday 27 February, visitors will experience the Gallery after dark with some of Australia’s best queer creatives, as we bring the art both on and off the walls to life in the third iteration of Queer Art After Hours.
Award-winning queer performing arts duo Fancy Piece will host an array of performances on the Queer Art After Hours main stage as well as presenting a special performance of their own.
Indigenous poet and rapper, actor, singer, dancer and writer, Stephen Oliver who is also the creative force behind the ABC’s cult TV show, Black comedy, will deliver a very special spoken word performance.
The Huxleys will roam the Gallery in their glamorous androgynous abandon and fresh from performing at The Sissy Ball Kilia Tipia’s vogue trio will perform on the Queer Art After Hours stage.
Live music will be on offer with the husky-sweet voice of pop, LadyHood, making her debut Mardi Gras performance; a DJ set from Sophie Forrest; and the Dollar Bin Darlings who will be armed with their disco records that cost them no more than a dollar.
Visitors can examine the stunning art-shoe creations of choreographer and designer Novy, inStiletto NB a display of outrageous wearable art or fall in love with one of Sydney’s most beloved drag kings, Jayvante Swing.
Not to be outdone, Verushka Darling returns to the Gallery with her outrageously popular art tours and Sheba Williams gives visitors the chance to star in her immersive pantomimeShebalicious.
Juicy facts about famous artworks will be shared in Queer art history talks from the Gallery’s library and archive team, and inspiration can be drawn from the evening’s performances for a mass drop in and draw workshop. With free live experiences taking place throughout the Gallery,Queer Art After Hours is a magnificent celebration of the LGBTQI creative community. Not to be missed!
“UNTIL is about the urgency I feel as an artist, as an African American…and as a resident of Chicago, Illinois. All too often we are faced with a history…in which gun violence pervades our streets in the hands of both civilians and law enforcement. This abuse of power – and of gun control laws – leads to far too many eulogies of Afro-Americans on the news and in our hearts. Bu ‘UNTIL is also about how it is up to the community to come together…to try and overcome and to offer solutions.” Nick Cave
A turn on the phrase ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ or in the case of Black America ‘guilty until proven innocent’, UNTIL examines the complex issues of race relations, gun violence and gender politics that fracture the USA and some other communities around the world.
Sydney is fortunate that Nick Cave and Carriageworks have struck up a relationship whereby we have previously seen other examples of his beautiful, immersive and thought provoking installations.
Galleries and creative spaces across Sydney will throw open their doors this March for the 10th annual Art Month Sydney – a massive city-wide celebration of contemporary art and artists.
The milestone festival boasts its biggest ever program of free exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, artist talks, studio visits, tours, precinct nights, and parties from 7 – 30 March 2019.
See unique exhibitions and get into the minds of Sydney’s artists, with the biggest ever range of artist talks at various venues across the city.
Art Month will fire up after dark in a different part of the city each Thursday with the flagship Art at Night: Precinct Nights Paddington & Woollahra (7 March), Waterloo & Green Square (14 March), East Sydney (21 March), and Chippendale & Redfern (28 March). Galleries in each precinct will open late, from 6-8pm, for curated Art Month walking tours, followed by spectacular Art at Night parties until late.
See works from some of Sydney’s most exciting private collections with perennial festival favourite, Collectors’ Space at 541 Art Space in Sydney city (7 – 23 March), and pop into The Studio Open presented by Art Month at The Other Art Fair at Australian Technology Park (14 – 17 March), offering a sneak-peek into some of Sydney’s most dynamic artist studios.
Head north side for Art Month’s second annual Unrepresented Artist Exhibition, Saturated Terrain, at Incinerator Art Space in Willoughby throughout the month, and take the North Shore Art Tour on 30 March. Catch a flick with The Art of Film – a series of three film screenings and talks – in partnership with the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival.
Discover Sydney’s flourishing creative spaces with the full festival program at artmonthsydney.com.au
Beautifully photographed, proceeding at a rather leisurely pace, this film directed by David Bickerstaff examines the life and times of Vincent van Gogh using the amazing resources of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum .We are granted privileged access behind the scenes . We see how the various works are hung in the Museum and some of the directors and curators analyse van Gogh’s works and life.
Some of the works are examined in extreme close up detail and van Gogh’s approach to his work minutely analysed. It attempts to analyse his creative process.
The film is roughly organised chronologically, following Van Gogh’s short, turbulent life. It is a blend of voiceover narration (often Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo) talking heads segments with the curators etc, footage of the museum display and rostrum shots of paintings and letters, and Jamie de Courcey as a brooding, intense Vincent . Contemporary artists currently working, such as Lachlan Goudie, express their admiration for Van Gogh There’s also commentary from Theo’s great-grandson, Vincent Willem van Gogh, about the family history. We see not only the Museum but other important places in Vincent’s life – the asylum at Saint-Remy where he stayed at one point, the house at Auvers Sur Oise, his last bedroom and more.
Bickerstaff’s film reminds us that van Gogh, having created almost 2100 works which included 820 oil paintings and more than 1300 watercolours, was relentlessly driven by his artistic inspiration. Today, perhaps his ‘madness’ would be diagnosed as bipolar disorder.
Born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, van Gogh’s life was heavily influenced by Protestant ideologies of selflessness and an impassioned will to work The film follows his life, Beginning as an art dealer in Goupil & Cie, van Gogh came in close proximity to the trends and works of modern artists and began understanding ‘art’. A shift to the company’s London headquarters within a few years left van Gogh sad and rather disenchanted. At one point Van Gogh even attempted his own ministry, but his sermons were most unpopular so he discontinued.
Encouraged by his brother Theo to become a painter, Van Gogh became heavily influenced by the great painters such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Charles Blanc, Francois Millet and so on., attempting to capture scenes of nature and peasants working in the fields that became his signature early style, leading to his first major work The Potato Eaters (1885) ( which both Theo and van Gogh’s friend and fellow artist Anthon van Rappard heavily criticised , but is remarkable for its perspective, major control and accomplishment as a group portrait and it’s light and dark imagery.
Van Gogh moved to Paris in 1886 where he became influenced by Impressionism and Pointillism. He also discovered the bohemian avant-garde of Montmartre, in particular the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. ( Both painted working-class women who owned or worked in the cafes frequented by artists, a radical subject for the era) . Van Gogh also created paintings that show the influence of Japanese woodblock prints eg : the lyrical Flowering Plum Orchard (1887) .van Gogh’s friendship with Australian artist John Russell ( and Russell’s portrait of him as recently seen in the exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW) are briefly mentioned.
A move to the countryside – Arles – saw the start of Van Gogh’s most productive period, during which he completed 200 paintings, including the iconic Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers in 1888. Arles was where van Gogh lived with friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin for a short while, ending with the notorious argument in which van Gogh cut off a piece of his own ear, which eventually led to the more severe mental illness that saw him for a while being keptin a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Remy, France. It was there, in his studio-cell, that van Gogh rendered the famous swirling, tempestuous sky of The Starry Night in 1889, the year before his suicide aged 37, dying in Theo’s arms..Other famous paintings we see include The Irises and the iconic Sunflowers as well as The Wheatfields and portraits of Dr Gachet .
Van Gogh’s legacy is examined and we sadly ponder the torn, troubled artist’s life.
Runnng time is 90 minutes.
VINCENT VAN GOGH : A NEW WAY OF SEEING screens at selected cinemas from February 7 2019.
Bright and colourful abstracts right in the middle of the city! Join two independent Sydney-based artists for an afternoon full of fun, stories and surprises! Drop by ARO gallery this Saturday, the 12th of January!
AU BOUT DE... is translated from French as At the bottom of...
“The motto deliberately leaves a lot room for interpretation. Our art is a abstract means to get to the bottom of each individual emotional trigger. We believe that each piece opens a door to the deeper inner self, building a stronger rapport with the reality by connecting rational and sensual experiences.
A common theme of all our artworks is an abundance of color – sometimes cheerful and sometimes overwhelming.”
URBANE is a new selection of works by artist Damien March at whose work features in collections both in Australia and Internationally.
” Urbane makes reference to both the sophisticated and cultured nature of contemporary society. The essence of the exhibition is that in our immediate age, it is great to stop and reflect the environment around us.” said March. “technological society can see that the world can go apathetically past.” URBANE captures the great cities of the world and aims to give prominence through a traditional expression.”
URBANE uses a vast array of materials ranging from inks, acrylics, varnishes, thickeners, sand pumice and resin. Working with such diverse media has elevated the paint surface with a sophisticated aesthetic. A push and pull effect is created between layers, rough thick gestural strokes contrasting against refined glistening resin. Vigorous Neo Expressionistic palette knife movements further accentuates the visual experience.
Following his highly successful showing at substrate in Hollywood, mixed media artist Damien March‘s URBANE is on show at m2 Gallery, 450 Elizabeth St, Surrey Hills from January 16 -29. The official opening will be Friday 18th of January from 6-9pm.
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