Known for her luminous photographs, some made with a camera and some without (and some made with a combination of the two), Justine Varga premieres a new body of work available to view online in the Tolarno Galleries Viewing Space until 5 May.
Tachisme ruptures any clear distinction between photography and painting. The negatives from which these photographs derive were smeared and stained with pigment during their long exposures. When these negatives are then printed from, at large-scale in the darkroom, the latent inscriptions are revealed to intermingle with the distinctive signature of the artist’s fingertips, a trace of touching that is generally forbidden in the production of photographs.
Justine Varga has always seen her photography in these terms, as a drawing with light, or more literally as a light-sensitive substrate on which she makes marks or allows the world to leave its own marks. These photographs are therefore the making visible of an art practice that is at once physical and chemical, autobiographical and contingent, painterly and photographic. In doing so, Tachisme asks viewers to reflect on the activity of decipherment in relation to photographs, making this exhibition a critical rumination on inscription, meaning and knowledge.
…an art that is abject and yet strangely alluring. Infectious in every sense of the word, once seen, Justine Varga’s photographs are stains that cannot be removed from the mind’s eye, and for that very reason powerfully embody the anxieties and uncertainties that pervade our present moment. – Andrés Mario Zervigón, Professor of the History of Photography at Rutgers University, USA.
Read more about Justine Varga in the Issue 49 Artist Profile cover story in 2019.
Image: Justine Varga Visage (2018-19). Chromogenic photograph, 146.2 x 111.5 cm (image size) / 161.2 x 122.5 cm (image including borders), edition of 5 + 2 AP
On view from 29 February at Art Gallery of South Australia is the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres curated by Leigh Robb.
Contact us to request available Brent Harris works from Monster Theatres.
The exhibition features a large body of work by Brent Harris, including ten of Harris’ iconic Grotesquerie paintings and premiering several new paintings and prints including more (pictured).
Leigh Robb says, ‘Monsters ask us to interrogate our relationships with each other, the environment and technology. They force us to question our empathy towards difference across race, gender, sexuality and spirituality’.
2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, 29 February – 8 June 2020.
Image: Brent Harris more 2019, oil on linen , 244 x 175 cm
#spreadartnotviruses is a creative campaign by Charlie Xiao, collector, curator and instigator, in response to the impact of coronavirus COVID-19.
Originally from Beijing, China, in September 2019 the now Melbourne-based Xiao acquired Colony – the whole-of-gallery sculpture installation of viruses and bacteria by Christopher Langton, with plans to exhibit the work in China.
Through Colony, Xiao met Theodore Wohng, the founder of ZOME AR, whose office is just metres from Tolarno Galleries on Melbourne’s Exhibition Street. In collaboration with Wohng and Langton, Xiao has now instigated #spreadartnotviruses as an open invitation to artists, writers and other creative minds to contribute to the movement online via Instagram and ZOME AR.
Inspired by the eerily prescient Colony – a hyperreal manifestation of Christopher Langton’s own experiences of life-threatening disease and infection – #spreadartnotviruses intends to show solidarity with those affected in Wuhan and around the world.
Together, artists can support those who are affected by the virus and turn the negative experiences into something positive.
Read more on the #spreadartnotviruses project from March 2020 in: