The most ambitious exhibition to date of work by Patricia Piccinini will open exclusively at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in March 2018, becoming GOMA’s largest ever solo exhibition by an Australian artist.
Featuring more than 50 new and recent works by the globally renowned artist, ‘Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection‘ will include sculpture, photography, video, drawing and installation, as well as never-before-seen commissions including entirely immersive environments. The exhibition also considers the challenging world of science and genetic engineering developments and nature, and how humanity will face its future.
Piccinini is one of the most interesting Australian artists working today, exploring the interrelationship of humanity and the natural world, and the social and moral impact of scientific research, genetics and biotechnology on people, animals and our planet.
Working with a skilled team of collaborators and computer technology, her art collapses the boundaries between reality and artifice to create captivating environments populated by strangely compelling, often hybridised, startlingly realistic sculptures, that are foreign and strange looking, yet seemingly familiar. The artworks will deliberately challenge conceptions about what it means to be human and the power of empathy.
‘Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection‘ (24 March to 5 August 2018) will feature some of Piccinini’s most recognisable life-like sculptures, among them The Bond 2016, a woman lovingly cradling an ambiguous creature. It will include a large-scale, newly commissioned inflatable sculpture suspended in GOMA’s atrium – a continuation of ideas the artist explored in the controversial hot air balloon work titled The Skywhale, a commission that marked the Centenary of Canberra in 2013. The exhibition will also feature a major new installation The Field, a landscape of some 3000 genetically modified flower sculptures that will draw visitors into a vast, multisensory environment.
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For more than fifty years, Gerhard Richter has proven his remarkable command of almost every style and genre of painting. That Richter is both a figurative and abstract painter is one of the most surprising aspects of his art.
His painting encompasses realism based on photographs and magazine cuttings, large-scale abstracts produced by dragging layers of paint across the canvas, romantic landscapes, overpainted photographs, glass sculptural works and many other forms. This variation and experimentation mark him as a significant force in the revitalisation of painting in contemporary art.
We explore some of these styles below, and also look at how the artist’s family and history have made their way into this work.
Do you know what was great? Finding out that a stupid, ridiculous thing like copying a postcard could lead to a picture Gerhard Richter
Richter’s ‘photo-paintings’ are based on photographs, images of celebrities and elements of consumer culture found in magazines and newspapers.
The mechanical process of copying photographic images is tempered by Richter’s characteristic ‘blurring’ of the painted image. Made by lightly brushing the wet pigment with a soft brush, this alteration of the painted surface parallels our actual perception of the world which is always passing, in flux and never fixed and still.
LANDSCAPES & ABSTRACTS
For me, there’s no difference between a landscape and an abstract painting Gerhard Richter
The yearning for a direct connection to nature and experience of the world through painting is most evident in Richter’s landscape works. The enduring tradition of landscape painting represents the most immediate form of visual engagement with the historical conception of nature while also being defined in the modern era through photography. For Richter, nature is a vital and necessary departure point for exploring representation. Vast seascapes, clouds, mountains and lowlands have appeared regularly in his work.
Many of Richter’s large abstract paintings also derive from an observation of natural phenomena: ‘They do set up associations. They remind you of natural experiences, even rain if you like’.
In his abstract paintings, Richter uses a squeegee to rub and scrape the paint across his canvases to create a blurring of one area of colour into another. Often there’s a feeling that you’re looking at an out of focus photograph.
FAMILY & HISTORY
… one always paints one’s history Gerhard Richter
Family members feature in a number of Richter’s best known and most widely exhibited paintings. These include portraits of his partners and children, who appear in tender yet unsentimental works. In painting his family, Richter also makes an acute personal connection to German history.
A family photograph album was one of the few items Richter took with him when he fled Dresden for the West and some of these family snapshots provided the basis for early photo-paintings whose muted blue, brown and grey tones, resemble historical photographs. Blurring and other treatments of the painted surface are Richter’s means of maintaining the emotional distance, stillness and banality of such photographs while communicating the weight of historical events and physical reality.
Works such as Aunt Marianne and Uncle Rudi sit at the intersection of personal and national histories yet are treated in a similar manner to found, anonymous images from the media. The truths behind the blurred veil of these family portraits were in some cases only explicit years after their making. For example, Richter was unaware of the tragic life story of his Aunt and her death in a Nazi sanatorium when he painted their double portrait, which includes the artist as a baby in the foreground.
DIVERSITY AND INFLUENCE
Gerhard Richter has responded to traumatic events in history, including World War Two and the horror of the Holocaust, while also investing all manner of everyday images, both public and private, with a deeply personal emotional register.
With works of art from major collections around the world, including from Richter’s own private collection, Gerhard Richter: The Life Of Images profiles an artist whose sustained and influential practice has both rejected and embraced tradition while confirming painting’s mystery and durability as an art form.
The Australian Cinémathèque presents exclusive cinema projects and events in collaboration with Brisbane Festival this September, including a rare experience to enjoy classic Italian horror films on the big screen, the Australian premiere of ‘Blind Cinema’, and a special live performance of Suspiria and Battleship Potemkin.
Masters of Italian Horror
Co-presented with Brisbane Festival, ‘Gothic, Giallo, Gore: Masters of Italian Horror’ celebrates the works of the three most prominent directors of Italian horror cinema: Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, and Dario Argento, with the horror film program celebrating the main auteurs of the Italian giallo film genre.
From Bava’s deeply influential gothic works, Argento’s mastery of the lurid thriller, and Fulci’s gory oeuvre, fans of horror cinema can expect a wildly gruesome and exhilarating month of cinema at GOMA. Cinema audiences can experience the best films of these iconic directors on the big screen – with bone-chilling highlights such as Bava’s gothic Black Sunday 1960, Fulci’sgory Zombi 2 1979, and Argento’s masterpieces Deep Red 1975 and Suspiria 1977.
The horror program launches on Friday 8 September with a screening of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage 1970 (which fittingly opens in an art gallery), introduced by film critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. The giallo program includes rare 35mm prints from private and national archives, alongside vibrant new digital restorations.
For a less terrifying cinematic experience, the Gallery presents the Australian premiere of ‘Blind Cinema‘ during Brisbane Festival. Developed by London and Brussels based artist Britt Hatzius, ‘Blind Cinema’ is a collaborative act that invites adult audiences to experience a film while blindfolded, with a child who describes in hushed tones the film they are seeing for the very first time.
The Gallery is also co-presenting two special events offsite during the Brisbane Festival, at much-loved Brisbane venues The Tivoli and the Old Museum. In conjunction with the giallo horror program, the Australian Cinémathèque and Brisbane Festival bring Rome-based progressive-rock legends Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin to Brisbane for an exclusive event ‘Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Play Suspiria’. Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin will perform their film score live alongside a screening of Suspiria on Friday 22 September at The Tivoli. Claudio Simonetti and Goblin were the musical masterminds behind the beloved scores for horror classics like Deep Red 1975 and Tenebre 1982.
Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Play Suspiria
8.00pm Friday 22 September 2017 (1hr 40mins)
The Tivoli, Costin Street, Fortitude Valley BUY TICKETS
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN – MUSIC LIVE BY CAMERATA
Presented in partnership with Brisbane Festival and in association with Camerata (Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra), QAGOMA presents Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin 1925, in a special live performance at the Old Museum. Often cited as one of the greatest films of all time, this new restoration of a silent masterpiece will be brought to life with a stunning new score performed live by Camerata.
QAGOMA has been gifted an outstanding work of Australian art that will be displayed from 30 September 2017 when the Gallery unveils its reimagined Australian Collection. Ian Fairweather’s iconic painting Gethsemane 1958 had been gifted by Philip Bacon, AM, Special Patron of the Gallery’s Foundation and member of the QAGOMA Foundation Committee.
This generous gift will enable Queensland’s future generations to enjoy the work of one of Australia’s greatest artists who created some of his most celebrated works here in Queensland, on Bribie Island. Mr Bacon’s donation is one of the most generous single gifts of Australian art in the Gallery’s history, and a pivotal work from a very important period in Ian Fairweather’s career.
The Gallery has been actively acquiring and exhibiting Fairweather’s work for more than 50 years, presenting major retrospectives on the artist in 1965 and 1994, and an exhibition focused on his late works in 2012. The entry of this painting into the state’s Collection strengthens the Gallery’s ability to present and interpret the works of this great Australian artist and helps give a more comprehensive understanding of Fairweather’s achievements.
In his lifetime, Fairweather created two masterworks relating to stories of Christ’s life – the occasion of Christ’s birth which he painted in 1962, titled Epiphany, purchased by the Queensland Art Gallery the year it was painted and Gethsemane painted earlier in 1958, which depicts Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion. Importantly, both these major paintings were created while Fairweather was living on Bribie Island.
Fairweather’s biblical images were not intended to emphasise a particular religious message by the artist, but to convey an aesthetic experience of the subject and the event. Gethsemane was selected for the Blake Prize in 1959. In 1961 the painting was acquired by Nobel Prize-winning Australian author Patrick White who donated it to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1974. It is thought the painting was in the mind of the author as he wrote some of Australia’s greatest literary works. In 2010 the Art Gallery of New South Wales auctioned Gethsemane as part of a deaccessioning program and Philip Bacon purchased it. Seven years later, Mr Bacon has generously donated it to QAGOMA.
Gethsemane will be displayed alongside the Gallery’s Epiphany and another of Fairweather’s biblical paintings, Palm Sunday 1951. Bus stop 1965 and Pumistone passage 1957, two other works by the artist gifted to QAGOMA in recent years by the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts will also feature in the new Australian Collection display.
Ian Fairweather (1891-1974) was born in Scotland and studied at London’s Slade School of Fine Art from 1920 to 1924. In 1927 he left England and spent the next two decades travelling to Canada, China, Indonesia, South America, the Philippines and Japan. After returning to London in 1952 after a near fatal raft trip from Darwin to Timor, he travelled to Australia in August 1953, retreating from society and establishing himself in a hut on Bribie Island where he remained until his death.
A prominent gallery director, philanthropist and significant long-time supporter of the Gallery and its Foundation, Philip Bacon’s outstanding support has included his time as a Gallery Trustee from 2012 through to early 2017, including his role as Deputy Chair of the Board from 2014. Mr Bacon’s significant generosity was recognised in 2009 through the naming of three specific exhibition spaces at the Queensland Art Gallery as the Philip Bacon Galleries.
Ever wondered what happens to Marvel costumes after the movie wraps? Wendy Craig explains her role as Marvel Costume Department Supervisor where she organises, catalogues and controls all the past Marvel costumes and also prepares them for use in flash-backs and re-shoot continuity.
For the first time together at GOMA, Craig explains the evolution of Caption America’s costume from its first suit, through to the Captain America Smithsonian Diorama and to the Avengers and Civil War versions – all the same but different in how their colour tones and their construction techniques evolved. Craig also shows us the tricks that Marvel use to keep the costume intact during action scenes, and how they bring Marvel’s heroic illustrations to life working with the reality of an actors body.
DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS
Experience more than 500 unique objects seen in your favourite films which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.
Working closely with the director and producer, production design teams are responsible for defining the look and feel of a film. The team is led by the Production Designer, who oversees the artists and designers tasked with translating the design concepts into physical costumes, props, sets and locations.
This video offers insights into these processes for the upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok 2017. Featured are Production Designer Dan Hennah, Conceptual Designer Director Ra Vincent, Head of Sculpture Chris McMahon and Head of Scenic Chris Williams.
DELVE DEEPER INTO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS
Go behind the scenes to experience more than 500 unique objects seen in your favourite films which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.