Justine Varga

When we think of photography we naturally think of a camera, even if it is just as an icon on our smart phone. The two go hand in hand. But we can take the camera out of the equation and still have photography. All we need is light. Indeed, the Greek roots of the word literally mean ‘drawing with light’. – Anne O’Hehir, Curator, Photography, National Gallery of Australia, 2016

Varga… has, in essence, updated the metaphysical angst of mid-century action painting for our own chaotic age, when renewed anxieties around the politics of mass media have put pressure on the fidelity associated with photographic representation. Her works dismantle the expectations that those forces cultivate by breaking down the conventions that we otherwise expect to see in photographs. In so doing, she reasserts the photograph as a trace of the world. Her rubbed, scratched, and stained surfaces have been exposed to today’s disintegrating social and ecological climate, resulting in a grand mix of personal inscription and environmental trace. – Andrés Mario Zervigón, Professor of the History of Photography at Rutgers University (USA), 2020

Read Tachisme exhibition catalogue essays by Andrés Mario Zervigón (2020) and Susan Best (2021), Professor of Art History and Theory at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

View the Tachisme exhibition online.

Read the Justine Varga Artist Profile cover story.

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Justine Varga ‘Tachisme’ exhibition 2021 installation photograph by Andrew Curtis
Justine Varga ‘Refraction’ 2018-19 Chromogenic photograph 154.5 x 124 cm (framed size)
Justine Varga ‘Aggregate’ 2018-19 Chromogenic photograph 155 x 124 cm (framed size)
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
Justine Varga, installation view at Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA, 2019
Justine Varga, installation view at Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA, 2019
Justine Varga, TarraWarra Biennial ‘From Will to Form’, installation view. TarraWarra Museum of Art 2018