Program 2020 announced

Tolarno Galleries’ Program 2020 includes:

Ben Quilty 150 years  8 – 29 February
A&A Exquisite Corpse / Cadavre Exquis 12 – 28 March. Part of Melbourne Design Week 2020, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, 12 – 22 March 2020
Justine Varga Tachisme 4 April – 9 May. An official exhibition of PHOTO 2020 International Festival of Photography, 23 April – 10 May 2020.
Benjamin Armstrong 16 May – 20 June
Amos Gebhardt Night Horse 27 June – 25 July
Danie Mellor 1 August – 29 August
Tim Johnson 5 September – 3 October
Caroline Rothwell 10 October – 7 November
Judy Watson 14 November – 12 December

Image: Justine Varga Influence 2018-19, chromogenic photograph, 131.5 x 110 cm (image including halo border). From the upcoming exhibition Tachisme.


Announcing Skywhalepapa!

The National Gallery of Australia unveiled its 2020 program this week, including the spectacular news that Patricia Piccinini has been commissioned as part of The Balnaves Contemporary Series to create Skywhalepapa, a new companion to Skywhale (2013), which returns to Canberra after six years touring Australia and the world.

Together they form a skywhale family that will be launched near the Gallery and take flight over Canberra eight times during the exhibition period. The sculptures will then float across the skies of Australia as a National Gallery travelling exhibition.

Skywhales: Every heart sings is an NGA #KnowMyName project celebrating the work of Australian women artists, and the third instalment of The Balnaves Contemporary Series.

Patricia Piccinini’s current exhibition Chromatic Balance is on view now at Tolarno Galleries until 14 December 2019.

Read more at The Guardian, ABC News, AFR, The AgeThe Australian and Canberra Times.

Image: Patricia Piccinini Skywhalepapa 2019/20 (artist’s sketch)


Patricia Piccinini ‘Chromatic Balance’

Tolarno Galleries is pleased to present Patricia Piccinini‘s latest exhibition, Chromatic Balance.

Available works include The Balance, a major new sculpture, together with a striking series of unique Panelworks and Shoeforms exploring the naturalisation of technology through form, colour and surface.

On view from 16 November to 14 December 2019.

Tolarno Galleries welcomes visitors of all ages, however some exhibitions such as this one cannot accommodate prams and strollers.

Image: Patricia Piccinini The Balance 2019. ABS plastic and automotive paint, 230 (h) x 187 (w) x 150 (d) cm, edition of 3 + 1AP



Thanks to the 24,000+ visitors who attended teamLab: Reversible Rotation between 5 October – 2 November 2019!

Presented by Tolarno Galleries, in association with exhibition partners Martin Browne Contemporary and Melbourne International Arts Festival, teamLab: Reversible Rotation, included four mesmerising screen works: Waves of Light (12 screens), Reversible Rotation – Black in White (7 screens), Enso – Cold Light (single screen) and Reversible Rotation – Cold Light (single screen), exploring the concept of Spatial Calligraphy and the movement of waves in water.

More information at teamLab, or read more at BroadsheetThe Age and Surface Magazine or listen to an interview with teamLab founder Toshiyuki Inoko on ABC RN The Art Show.

Download media release in English or 下载普通话展览信息 .

Elizabeth Willing

Through the Mother 10 September 2019 – 18 January 2020
University of Queensland Art Museum

Elizabeth Willing‘s multi-sensory solo exhibition embraces how touch, taste and smell, inform our most poignant and powerful memories. The architecture of the space invites viewers to enter into a fragmented narrative that is pieced together by the artist through things that are familiar—a table, a stool, tea, wallpaper, a shed—but rendered strange by wax and bush, grease and hibiscus, valerian and patchouli.

Throughout the exhibition, tea is served for the audience. A mixture made by the artist and her mother, is a calming blend of valerian, passionflower, hibiscus, rooibos, and cinnamon; each ingredient possessing its own medicinal benefits, from the soothing of anxieties to the ceasing of inflammation. The artist has sought to give both physical and ephemeral form to memories of her mother, conveyed through smell, taste, and texture.  Tea served daily 10.00–11.00am, 2.30–3.30pm

Image: Elizabeth Willing Through the Mother 2019 installation. Photograph courtesy UQ Art Museum and Simon Woods


Amos Gebhardt

Tolarno Galleries will premiere Amos Gebhardt’s new photography series, Night Horse at Sydney Contemporary 12-15 September 2019, Booth E16, Main Hall.

The works examine the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season. We are drawn inside the kinetic swirl of the herd where hooves, flicking tails and outstretched limbs offer an intimate encounter across the species divide. Shot in the heat of a February summer’s night, on the artist’s birthday, the charged atmosphere is palpable.

Night Horse (2019) continues themes explored in Gebhardt’s recent video installations Lovers (2018) and Evanescence (2018), both selected for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and There Are No Others (2016) presented at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. They thread a trajectory of connected ideas concerning nakedness as the barest form of identity and deep time cycles of matter – life, death, decay.

Amos Gebhardt presents Spooky Action: An Encounter between Poetics and Science
Writing & Concepts lecture for Talk Contemporary
4.30pm Sunday 15 September 2019
Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks
RSVP here

Image: Amos Gebhardt Parallax 2019archival inkjet pigment print, 122 x 163 cm


Patricia Piccinini

Life Clings Closest
Cairns Art Gallery
22 August – 8 December 2019

Bringing together works from the last twenty years of Patricia Piccinini’s practice, Life Clings Closest also debuts a new group of works inspired by the unique environment of Far North Queensland. These works celebrate the wondrous ecology of the area, but also questions how we can cope with the overwhelming challenges facing it.

Patricia Piccinini will close this year’s Tolarno Galleries program with an exhibition of new automotive works, 9 November – 14 December 2019. More information soon!


Danie Mellor

Matter Matters by Danie Mellor was unveiled in August 2019 as the fourth Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney’s Loti Smorgon Sculpture Terrace Commission.

The Museum works with artists to realise new, temporary artworks that respond to the unique site overlooking Sydney Harbour. Mellor said, “The drama of natural forms is something I find captivating, and the shapes of the bronze mangrove stilt roots is a reminder of the beauty of natural architecture…It’s important to be aware just how deeply we are connected to natural spaces: mangrove colonies are essential for ecological balance and health along our coastlines.”

Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Picture Steven Siewert via SMH.

Details: Danie Mellor, Matter Matters, 2019. Bronze.


Bill Henson

The light fades but the gods remain
Monash Gallery of Art
27 July to 29 September 2019

The light fades but the gods remain is a major exhibition curated by Pippa Milne showcasing two key series’ by Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most eminent artists, exploring the suburb of Glen Waverley where he grew up.

In celebration of MGA’s 25th anniversary, Bill Henson was commissioned to revisit the suburb of his childhood and to produce a new body of work that reflects upon his earlier series Untitled 1985–86, known by many as ‘the suburban series’. This ground-breaking commission offers an unparalleled insight into one of Australia’s most revered artists, as he explores the notion of home, intensifying the everyday to a point of dramatic revelation and romantic beauty. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive publication, The light fades but the gods remain, co-published with Thames & Hudson Australia.

Image: BILL HENSON Untitled SH4 N24 2018–19, archival pigment ink-jet print, 127 x 180 cm


Nicholas Folland at Adelaide Central School of Art

In this hugely ambitious new exhibition, South Australian art superstar Nicholas Folland imagines a world in which cosy notions of domestic security are thrillingly destabilised. Combining installation with kinetic sculpture, Other Homes and Gardens inverts the idea of the Anthropocene, depicting humankind at the mercy of dangerous and implacable natural forces. Simultaneously uncanny and darkly humorous, this never before seen exhibition is not to be missed.

Nicholas Folland Other Homes and Gardens
Wednesday 31 July – Friday 30 August 2019
Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery

Image: Nicholas Folland, Other Homes and Gardens 2019, installation view, mixed materials, dimensions variable


Benjamin Armstrong at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

On view now at Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney as part of The lover circles his own heart: MCA Collection are works from Benjamin Armstrong, including the glass sculptures Old Friends (2004) and series of six relief prints, Contents, 2005-2006.

The exhibition explores emotional connections between people and relationships to country.

On view until 22 September 2019.

Installation images courtesy Benjamin Armstrong.

Martin Bell at Australian Print Workshop

Martin Bell ‘s exhibition  Do Androids Dream of Catching Butterflies,
…you didn’t tell me there was an Android on this Mission!! is on view now at Australian Print Workshop until 3 August 2019. Curated by APW Director Anne Virgo OAM, the exhibition is planned in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia and made possible by the generous support of The Collie Print Trust.

This is the second of a series of exhibitions by the four artists who participated in French Connections. Martin Bell’s work is a reflection on the projects themes – the interplay of natural history, the history of science, empire, art and anthropology as it relates to early French exploration of Australia and the Pacific. During the 2018 research study trip to France, APW and the Artists had privileged access to study rarely seen and highly significant collections in leading museums that has informed and inspired the production of an exciting new body of work in the print medium.

Image 1: Martin Bell in front his the lithograph Demisticity Science and the Alien. Image courtesy Australian Print Workshop


teamLab at Melbourne International Arts Festival 2019

Tolarno Galleries, in association with Martin Browne Contemporary, is pleased to announce the Australian Premiere of teamLab: Reversible Rotation, 5 October – 2 November 2019.

The exhibition is presented in association with Melbourne International Arts Festival 2 – 20 October 2019 and comprises four large scale screen works.

There aren’t many art collectives whose members include mathematicians, architects, CG animators and engineers, but trying to pin down the ultratechnologists of teamLab is like asking the ocean to hold still. From their frenetic hive of a base in Tokyo, this sprawling assembly of thinkers and dreamers create immersive works of breathtaking imagination – sculptures of light whose radiance seems to pass through your very body.

Pictured: teamLab Enso – Cold Light (2018), Digital Work, Single channel, Continuous Loop © teamLab


Brent Harris at AGNSW, AGWA and ACCA

Brent Harris works are currently on display across three major Australian public institutions.

At Art Gallery of NSW, the Swamp (2000) series of prints are on view in the study room.

In Perth at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Design Space exhibition Family Resemblance, features ceramics and small sculpture from Lucie Rie, Mary Rogers, Gwyn Hanssen Piggot and Sandra Black and more, surrounded by a selection of Brent Harris paintings and prints from the extensive AGWA collection that navigate “the swamp of personal, familial, religious and unconscious forces that make us who we are” (Robert Cook, curator).

At ACCA Melbourne, the exhibition On Vulnerability and Doubt includes several Brent Harris paintings including borrowed plumage no.3 (noli me tangere) and borrowed plumage no.7 (touch) both 2007 (pictured, courtesy @brent_harris_art).

Brent Harris: Swamp series until 15 August at Art Gallery of NSW
AGWA Design – Family resemblance until 9 September at AGWA
On Vulnerability and Doubt until 1 September at ACCA Melbourne


Christopher Langton at MONA


Two of Christopher Langton‘s sculptures are currently on view at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) as part of the Simon Denny exhibition, Mine.

Self portrait as Mechanoid (Autonomous Version)  2018-19 and Self portrait as Mechanoid (Primitive version)  2017 are installed at MONA until 13 April 2020.

Christopher Langton will exhibit new works at Tolarno Galleries 24 August – 28 September 2019.


Pictured: Christopher Langton Self portrait as Mechanoid (Autonomous Version)  2018-19, polyester, polyurethane, steel and acrylic paint, 210 x 139 x 148 cm. Photography by Jesse Hunniford, courtesy MONA.


Quilty opens at GOMA | 29 June – 13 October 2019

The Quilty exhibition continues, now moving to GOMA in Brisbane 29 June – 13 October 2019. It is the first major survey exhibition in a decade of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty.

The exhibition extends from Quilty’s early reflections on the initiation rituals performed by young Australian men to his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign to save the lives of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. It also includes his revisions of the Australian landscape, and raw, intimate portraits of himself, his family and his friends.

Also on view at GOMA is Margaret Olley: A Generous Life. Ben Quilty met Margaret Olley when she was a guest judge for the 2002 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, which he won. Olley then became a friend and supporter of his work, and, in 2011 sat for a portrait by Quilty which won the Archibald Prize in 2011. The portrait is on view as part of Quilty.

Image: Ben Quilty Self-portrait, after Afghanistan 2012. Oil on linen, 130 x 120cm. Private collection, Sydney.


Rosemary Laing at the 35th Higashikawa Awards in Hokkaido, Japan

Rosemary Laing will be honoured in August with the ‘Overseas Photographer Award’ at the 35th Higashikawa Awards in Hokkaido, Japan, for photographic achievements including her series weather (2006), leak (2010) and Buddens (2017).

The 35th Higashikawa Award Winners’ Photo Exhibition opens 5 – 28 August at Higashikawa Bunka Gallery, showing works from weather and leak. Rosemary Laing said: “My projects are often created in meaningful places wherein I set up situations for the camera by either making a construction or working with a performer. In weather my performer is caught within a chaotic space of high wind and swirling shreds of newspaper. She appears to be tossed around by these metaphorical forces of climate and daily news events. For leak I built an oversized upside-down domestic timber house frame in a paddock, on a sheep farm in the Cooma-Monaro region of NSW. I wanted to make images about the tension between the idealised history of land occupation for farming by settlers, and the present day pressures of spreading urbanisation. In both bodies of work, I am interested in the elastic gravity between the sky, and the ground, and their connected conditions.”

Tolarno Galleries will exhibit a new Rosemary Laing photography series, skyground, 13 July – 17 August 2019. Image via Higashikawa International Photo Festival.


Elizabeth Willing ‘Through the Mother’ at UQ Art Museum

Congratulations to Elizabeth Willing whose window commission at University of Queensland Art Museum has just been unveiled. It’s a precursor to her forthcoming solo exhibition Through the Mother. The exhibition will be a multisensory exploration of the Brisbane-based artist’s memories and impressions of her mother, through her medium of performance and participatory explorations of food as art material. In this intimately conceived space, a comfortable familiarity is assumed through things we know and understand: a table, a chair, wallpaper, tea. These are subsequently distorted through taste and smell, evoking comfort, sedation, but also anxiety.

Willing is the first artist in UQ’s new annual Window Commission series, initiated to highlight and support local emerging contemporary artists.

Elizabeth Willing Through the Mother is on view at UQ Art Museum
Window Commission: June 4 – December 14, 2019
Exhibition: September 10 – December 14, 2019

Image: Elizabeth Willing Through the Mother 2019
adhesive vinyl, five parts, each 8 x 4 m
UQ Art Museum Window Commission, supported by Mrs Jane Tynan and Mr Michael Tynan, 2019. Photo: Simon Woods.


Tim Maguire ‘To the Surface’ performance at Melbourne Recital Centre

Tim Maguire collaborates with London pianist Dorian Ford for To the Surface at Melbourne Recital Centre on 23 May. This performance in-the-round coincides with Maguire’s current exhibition, Dice Abstracts, on view now at Tolarno Galleries until 1 June.

Combining ambient, meditative moving image with improvised jazz for piano, Maguire’s video works Dice Abstracts and Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen from his current exhibition are included in the presentation.

To the Surface is part of the Jazz in the Salon series. Tickets are available from Melbourne Recital Centre.

To the Surface
Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon
Thursday 23 May

Image: Tim Maguire Kyoto-Tokyo Shinkansen 2017, HD video, 23m 30s (loop)


Nicholas Folland at The National: New Australian Art 2019

Congratulations to Nicholas Folland who has just unveiled the installation Flirt at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, commissioned by curator Isobel Parker Philip as part of The National: New Australian Art 2019.

This pile of discarded crystal and glassware coalesces into topographical peaks and troughs based on a map of Lord Howe Island – a small landmass located east of Port Macquarie – that has been mirrored, distorted and partially submerged. This semi-fictional geography forecasts the rise in sea levels right around the corner…

The glass objects that form Folland’s re-imagined island are castaways from a Western world steeped in class hierarchies. They are status symbols that recall a time and place where greed and entitlement made it permissible to possess the natural world as well as material goods… The landscape – like any – might be resplendent and overwhelming but it is not impervious to our actions. Its vulnerability hangs in the balance.” – courtesy AGNSW

The National: New Australian Art 2019
Art Gallery of New South Wales 29 March – 21 July 2019
Carriageworks 29 March – 23 June 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art 29 March – 23 June 2019

Installation view: Nicholas Folland Flirt 2019, domestic crystal and glassware, nylon coated stainless steel thread, 440 x 800 x 250 cm. Exhibited at Art Gallery of NSW as part of The National 2019: New Australian Art. Photo: AGNSW, Diana Panuccio.


Now representing: Justine Varga

Tolarno Galleries is pleased to announce representation of Justine Varga, who has just been declared the recipient of the esteemed 2019 Dobell Drawing Prize, now presented as a biennial by the National Art School in association with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation.

Varga is known for her luminous photographs, some made with a camera and some without (and some made with a combination of the two). She has made a steady ascent since graduating with Honours from the National Art School, Sydney, in 2007. Accolades include the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture (2017) for her work Maternal Line. Her work is in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Monash Gallery of Art, Macquarie University, University of Queensland and Artbank, and in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and France.

She is currently exhibiting as part of Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) in San Diego, USA (pictured above).

Justine Varga will present her first exhibition at Tolarno Galleries in April 2020.

Image: Justine Varga with her winning 2019 Dobell Drawing Prize work Photogenic Drawing 2018, chromogenic photograph 151.5 x 120 cm, 154.5 x 124 cm (framed). Photo by Peter Morgan, courtesy National Art School.


Brook Andrew, Dan Moynihan and Patricia Piccinini – new commissions on view at Lyon Housemuseum Galleries

Congratulations to Lyon Housemuseum Galleries on the grand opening of this exciting new art and architecture museum in Melbourne, and inaugural exhibition, Enter.

An exhibition of newly commissioned works by sixteen leading Australian contemporary artists, Tolarno Galleries is pleased to support commissions for Brook Andrew, Dan Moynihan and Patricia Piccinini.

Enter is on view until 15 July 2019. Lyon Housemuseum Galleries is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

Installation view: Dan Moynihan Public Display of Reflection 2019, aluminium #8 mirror polish stainless steel, acrylic spray 220 x 250 x 74 cm. Supported by Lyon Foundation and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne


Quilty opens at AGSA, new monograph

Congratulations to Ben Quilty on the opening of the first major survey exhibition of his work at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The exhibition extends from Quilty’s early reflections on the initiation rituals performed by young Australian men, to his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign to save the lives of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The exhibition also includes works inspired by Quilty’s visits with author Richard Flanagan to Lebanon, Lesbos and Serbia, his revisions of the Australian landscape, and raw, intimate portraits of himself, his family and his friends.

To mark this moment, a new monograph, Ben Quilty, has been published by Penguin.

Developed by the Art Gallery of South Australia and curated by Assistant Director, Artistic Programs Dr Lisa Slade, the Quilty exhibition is unveiled in Adelaide before a year of touring.

Art Gallery of South Australia | 2 March – 2 June 2019
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art | 29 June – 13 October 2019
Art Gallery of New South Wales | 9 November 2019 – 2 February 2020

Image: Art Gallery of South Australia, photo: Grant Handcock