Tim Maguire

Old World, New World
13 March – 10 April 2021

Old world, new world. Empire, colony. Destruction, rebirth. Tim Maguire’s new paintings are influenced by his decades-long touchstone of 17th century Dutch still life, memento mori and the aftermath of Australia’s recent bushfires.

“The show’s title refers to the old world of Dutch still life painters and to the so-called new world of Australia,” says Maguire. “But I’m also thinking about the failure to adapt imported concepts from the old world and achieve some kind of harmony here.”

Join us on Saturday 13 March between 1pm-4pm when Tim Maguire will be at the gallery for the exhibition opening.

Image: Tim Maguire ‘Untitled 20201001’ 2020, oil on canvas, 153 x 168 cm


Nicholas Folland

Burn Down the House
Linden New Art
13 February – 16 May 2021

Burn Down the House is a site-specific installation that responds directly to the history of Linden’s heritage-listed building. Across three gallery spaces, Nicholas Folland places found furniture and tree branches encrusted with more than 10,000 bottle tops. The installation explores the tension between the safety of home and the wild incursions of nature, accompanied by a rhythmic and layered tapping, generated by two small mechanical contraptions that hang on the wall. The beats flow over one another like cicadas, communicating across the landscape.

Linden New Art
26 Acland Street

Image: Nicholas Folland with House Party (2021), found furniture, bottle caps, enamel paint, dimensions variable. Photography by Theresa Harrison


Amos Gebhardt at The Substation

Spooky Action (at a distance)
12 Feb – 27 Mar 2021
Free admission, bookings essential

Amos Gebhardt brings a cinematic force to large-scale, moving image installations and photography, collaborating with performers, choreographers and musicians to create both intimate and widescreen tableaus. This major exhibition marks the re-opening of The Substation and is a PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography event.

Melbourne premiere! Amos Gebhardt’s major three-channel video work, Small acts of resistance is screening for the first time in Melbourne, along with There are no others and Lovers. In the Main Performance Space, Level 1, is a stunning presentation of the four channel Evanescence.  Make sure to experience this soon – Evanescence is showing only until 6 March 2021.

Centred on themes of identity, queerness, resistance and entanglement, this extensive series of Gebhardt’s works form a labyrinth of film and photographs that unify the artist’s practice in a bold new way.

ARTIST TALK: Amos Gebhardt will be in conversation with Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday 26 February, 6-8pm. Book here.

Hear Amos Gebhardt walk through the exhibition with ABC RN The Art Show.

Image: AMOS GEBHARDT Evanescence (Water #3) (2018) archival inkjet pigment print, 100 x 150 cm, Edition of 5 + 1AP


Justine Varga presents ‘Tachisme: a stain on photography’

Floor talk
6pm to 6.45pm, Friday 19 February 2021
Tolarno Galleries
Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

A WRITING & CONCEPTS lecture in collaboration with TOLARNO GALLERIES and PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography.

Justine Varga will discuss the creative potential of those elements of a photograph that are usually thought to be marginal or even deleterious to its health – in particular, about stains and similar pictorial imperfections.

While focusing on the role of the stain and staining in her own work, the artist will also be seeking to place her interest within a broader history of image making. The talk will consider the nature of photography and argues for a certain kind of artistic practice keenly attuned to the materiality of the medium and to corporeal presence.

RSVP here. Tolarno Galleries is open late until 8pm on Friday 19 February 2021.

IMAGE: Justine Varga Influence 2018, chromogenic photograph, 129.3 x 107.8 cm (framed size)


Welcome Skywhalepapa!

Congratulations to Patricia Piccinini on the arrival of Skywhalepapa – a new monumental sculpture in the form of a hot-air balloon. A companion to Skywhale (2013), together they form a skywhale family that launched in Canberra on 7 February 2021. Two further Canberra skywhale flights are scheduled for 8 March and 3 April 2021. The sculptures will float across the skies of Australia as a National Gallery Touring Exhibition throughout 2021 and 2022.

The Skywhales: Every heart sings project spans music and song to knitting and baking. The story of the skywhale family is told in Patricia Piccinini’s new children’s book Every Heart Sings, while an NGA exhibition brings together studio drawings and 3D models. Musician Jess Green (AKA Pheno) has created a song, We are the Skywhales, keen knitters can make their own skywhales from a pattern developed by a local Canberra knitter, and Three Mills Bakery have produced a limited edition skywhales croissant for the three Canberra flight events.

Skywhales: Every heart sings is the third instalment of The Balnaves Contemporary Series. Read more in The Age Good Weekend and The Guardian.

Image courtesy National Gallery of Australia.


Closed for the summer break

Tolarno Galleries is now closed and will return in February 2021.

The exhibition program opens on Saturday 13 February 2021 with Justine Varga’s Tachisme, part of the PHOTO 2021 festival of international photography.

Between April and October 2020, during two Melbourne lockdowns, the Tolarno Galleries exhibition program moved completely online. Thank you to the artists, collectors and audience for making the leap with us.

If you missed any of the exhibitions at the time, visit them here:

Judy Watson memory scars, dreams and gardens
Judy Watson Cyanotypes
Andrew Browne Shoegazer
Amos Gebhardt Night Horse
Tim Johnson Parallel Universe
Peter Atkins  TV WEEK 1980-1985
Danie Mellor The Sun Also Sets
Brent Harris Peaks
Benjamin Armstrong Under the Southern Sky
Bill Henson On Beauty
Amos Gebhardt Evanescence
Justine Varga Tachisme (five works)
Brent Harris 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres

Image: Justine Varga Aggregate 2018-19. Chromogenic photograph 151.5 x 120.7 cm (framed size), edition of 5 + 2 AP


Christmas Wishlist

A 2020 Christmas Wishlist of inspiring artworks by:

Brook Andrew, Brendan Huntley, Ben Quilty, Bill HensonTim JohnsonBrent Harris and Dan Moynihan.

Click here to view.

Image: BROOK ANDREW Shifted Time 2020, mixed media on Belgian linen, 150 x 127 cm


Judy Watson in the media

Judy Watson’s exhibition memory scars, dreams and gardens continues at Tolarno Galleries until 12 December.

Listen back to Judy Watson interviewed by Namila Benson on ABC RN The Art Show.

Read Tiarney Miekus’ review in The Age.

And Kerrie O’Brien’s interview in The Age.

If visiting the gallery in Melbourne is not an option, the Judy Watson Online Viewing Space is open.

Find details of all the available works, installation images and catalogue essay by Katina Davidson, A/Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.


Gallery reopening on 13 November with Judy Watson

Tolarno Galleries will reopen to the public from 10am Friday 13 November with a limited number of visitors allowed into the exhibition in accordance with Victorian Government guidelines.
Regular opening hours resume, Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5 pm, Saturday 1pm – 4pm.

The gallery reopens with a new exhibition:

memory scars, dreams and gardens
13 November to 12 December 2020
Click to download the roomsheet or the catalogue essay by Katina Davidson.

A new urgency is present in Judy Watson’s memory scars, dreams and gardens… With matrilineal Waanyi ancestry, Watson’s artistic practice is centred in truth telling and ever informed by the archives that she mines. As observed by senior curator Hetti Perkins in a recent conversation with Judy Watson, her practice is “deeply personal, observational” and holds “simultaneously expression of the global ‘big picture’ and personal ‘small picture’”.
In the case of this body of work, the sentiment rings true. Rather than facing back into history – including researching evidence of massacres, and identifying historic cultural objects held in the bowels of overseas institutions – this body of work is rooted in her observations of the present. In Watson’s words, the works embody:

what I have seen
what I have done
where I have been
what I have made

Image: Judy Watson memory scar, cotton tree leaf, grass, brachychiton illawarra flame tree pods 2020, indigo, acrylic, graphite, pigment and acrylic binder medium on canvas, 180 x 148.5 cm


Andrew Browne ‘Shoegazer’

Online Viewing Space

Shoegazer, a diverse group of drawings made by Andrew Browne during the extended Melbourne COVID-19 lockdown, is a playful allusion to that sub-genre of indie rock, Shoegaze, but more so to the attention one pays to subjects and prompts found close at hand… almost underfoot. These somewhat introspective images are tender and intuitive encounters with observation, composition and mood.

Since the 1980s Melbourne-based Andrew Browne has established an unmistakable body of work across painting, drawing, photogravure, intaglio and lithography. Using photography as a tool, he investigates the phenomena of illumination, the poetics of the nocturne and the everyday.

His new series of drawings continues a decades’ long interest in landscape and natural phenomena, though one alienated and surreal. An uneasy tension exists within his images of organic growth and the detritus of human existence.

Image: ANDREW BROWNE Shoegazer (vacant lot) 2020, pencil on Moulin Du Gue paper, image size 37.5 x 26 cm, paper size: 76 x 56.5 cm