A body of work by Ben Quilty made in the lead up to the last American Presidential election, and then continued through recent pandemic times and lockdown.
During that time, he was given a book by the American Realist painter, George Bellows, and it has not left his studio since. Bellow’s paintings of men boxing illegally in early 20th century fight clubs was the starting point for this exhibition. Taking multiple screen shots of UFC fighters locked in deadly and bloody combat, and hosting a team of local boxers, Quilty posed questions about contemporary humanity.
In 1913 boxing was illegal in New York State and the ruling men believed boxing would never be a part of a sophisticated contemporary society. But now, taking the most basic rules away from boxing we are left with UFC and pondering our blood thirsty, ultra-violent return to Roman times, without the social order.
Named after famous beaches around Australia, the fighting men also evoke memories of the Cronulla Riots and continue Quilty’s exploration of Australian cultural identity and the darker sides of Island Life.
“To make paintings of men punching the life out of each other feels like an apt response to being alive in 2021,” Quilty says.
Image: BEN QUILTY The Crowd 2021, oil on linen, 180 x 202 cm
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen
In 2020, Melbourne artist Andrew Browne spent the long COVID-19 lockdown developing Shoegazer, a series of drawings premiering online in August 2020. A playful allusion to Shoegaze, a 1990s subgenre of indie rock, the title refers more to subjects and prompts found close at hand… almost underfoot.
These drawings of modest subjects, rich in association, serve as touchstones for Shoegazer 2.0, Andrew Browne’s new collection of paintings: the accidental abstractions of foot-path repairs; a tenacious dandelion emerging from a crevice; a spill of obscure yet florescent liquid; a crazy-patterned mural, or so much carelessly discarded detritus.
As paintings, these introspective images now loom large and take on a heightened significance. Browne highlights uncanny juxtapositions, flashes of colour and discovers secret portals. In these fleeting street scenes, moments of humour, joy and reverie are captured.
Continuing Andrew Browne’s longheld interest in landscape and surreal natural phenomena, Shoegazer 2.0 shines a light on visions that reflect and connect us all.
Click here to view Shoegazer 2.0 online.
Read the Melbourne Art Seen review by Gerry Bell.
Image: ANDREW BROWNE Rockaway 2021, oil and aluminium pigment on linen, 191 x 132 cm
A new collection of paintings and sculptures.
Click to view Without Within online:
Image: Brendan Huntley Untitled (moth) 2020, oil pastel, dry pastel, oil and graphite on archival paper, 61.5 x 42 cm (framed)
An exhibition of large scale paintings created using Tim Maguire’s colour separation technique. The works are influenced by 17th century Dutch still life, memento mori and the aftermath of Australia’s recent bushfires.
Click to view the Old World, New World exhibition film and viewing space online.
Image: Tim Maguire Untitled 20200902 2020, oil on canvas, 153 x 168 cm
Tachisme is Justine Varga’s first exhibition at Tolarno Galleries. The winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize (2019) and Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture (2017), Varga’s new works rupture any clear distinction between photography and painting.
The negatives from which these photographs derive were smeared and stained with pigment during their long exposures. Justine Varga has always seen her photography 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 make visible an art practice that is at once physical and chemical, autobiographical and contingent, painterly and photographic. Tachisme is a critical rumination on inscription, meaning and knowledge.
An exhibition of PHOTO 2021
International Festival of Photography
18 February – 7 March 2021
Click to view the exhibition online.
Image: Justine Varga Vicissitude 2018-19, chromogenic photograph, 151.5 x 121 cm (framed size), edition of 5 + 2 AP
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.
Image: ANDREW BROWNE Shoegazer (wharf) 2020, pencil on Moulin Du Gue paper, image size 37.5 x 26 cm, paper size: 76 x 56.5 cm
Tolarno Galleries is pleased to participate in
with new works by A&A, Brook Andrew, Andrew Browne, Amos Gebhardt and Ben Quilty
Pictured: A&A Klaatu, tallboy. Custom dyed rye straw, birch ply, brass, 160 (h) x 42.5 (w) x 42.5 (d) cm, unique.
Exhibition is open in the gallery and available in the Online Viewing Space.
This will be the first Judy Watson exhibition at Tolarno Galleries since 2016.
Read the catalogue essay by Katina Davidson.
memory scars, dreams and gardens precedes the TarraWarra Museum of Art exhibition Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce, opening 28 November 2020 to 8 March 2021.
Image: Judy Watson memory scar, cable tie, nut 2020, indigo, acrylic, graphite and linen thread on canvas, 176 x 90 cm
stitching by: Dorothy Watson
[daily confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Australia March 14 – April 23, May 25 2020, graph source: Crikey]
Night Horse examines the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season. The viewer is 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.
Modern equine reproduction is now often a supervised insemination process, or between a mare and stallion who are performing on cue. Night Horse captures a rarely seen ritualised courtship, where the protagonists experience heightened states of being ‘for themselves’. Gebhardt says, “The images are raw, showing the mess of body fluids and muscle, giving vivid dimensions to the physical language of the body as an archive of story, to suggest a dramatic arc in horse terms.”
Image: AMOS GEBHARDT Crest 2019, archival inkjet pigment print, 122 x 163 cm, edition of 5 + 2 AP
A new series of small abstract paintings by Peter Atkins, playing on cultural memories of small screen heroes and villains from the 1980s.
Image: Peter Atkins ‘Why Jack Thompson Posed Nude / Inside Kamahl’s Sydney Mansion’ 2019, acrylic on board, 28 x 21 cm, 51.5 x 41.5 cm framed
Download the TV Week 1980-1985 catalogue essay and full list of works
If a painting is a portal to another dimension, then the canvases of Tim Johnson are magic carpets, each one an invitation to embark on a voyage through the acclaimed Sydney-based artist’s personal cosmology. Revealing his sustained interest in Buddhism and other Eastern traditions, these serenely composed constellations of figures, objects and symbols inhabit an exalted space free from everyday concerns.
Johnson’s first show in five years with Tolarno Galleries, which has represented him since 1987, Parallel Universe brings together twelve new paintings, five of them made in collaboration with Daniel Bogunovic, a self-taught artist who lives in Los Angeles.
Image: Tim Johnson Thredbo River 2020, acrylic on linen, 101 x 137 cm
Download the exhibition essay by Tony Magnusson.
Tolarno Galleries is very pleased to present a suite of four new Brent Harris works in the Online Viewing Space in July 2020, direct from the studio.
Brent says, “These paintings have been worked on during the COVID-19 lockdowns. But really my studio practice is quite the same, as with most artists, we are used to working in isolation. The subjects of these panoramic pictures originates in the personal, before hopefully taking on relevance for the individual viewer.”
These previously unseen new works include two paintings, and two related works on paper.
Image: Brent Harris Imaginary Brother 2020, oil on linen, 92 x 73 cm
Comprising sepia-tone paintings overlaid with iridescent wash, as well as large-format photomontages, the series signals a new approach by Danie Mellor.
Download the exhibition essay by Tony Magnusson.
Download the artist text by Danie Mellor.
Image: Danie Mellor On the edge of darkness (the sun also sets) 2020. Acrylic with gesso and iridescent wash on board. Three panels, 181.5 x 371.5 cm overall, framed
Installation photography by Andrew Curtis
On Beauty – three new Bill Henson works, just released from the studio.
“We should remind ourselves, from time to time, that despite what goes on in the world, the best in art always recommends the truth and its sometimes complex and ambiguous nature. As Plato said ‘beauty is the splendor of truth.’ ” – Bill Henson, 1 May 2020
Image: BILL HENSON ‘Untitled 2010-20’ RC SH47 N32C (2010–20) archival inkjet pigment print 127 x 180 cm (paper size)
Premiering Justine Varga’s new body of work. An abridged edit of the full suite of Tachisme works presented at Tolarno Galleries in February 2021 as an official exhibition of the PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography.
Pictured: 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
Click to read the catalogue essay by Andrés Mario Zervigón.
Available Brent Harris works from the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres.
New paintings and prints are on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia 29 February to 8 June 2020.
Image: Brent Harris more 2019, oil on linen , 244 x 175 cm
The debut exhibition from industrial designer Adam Goodrum and French marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur.
An exhibition of new works from Ben Quilty.
Through Quilty’s ominous and heterogeneous approach in 150 years each work invites us to participate in a critical discussion. The same Quilty who explored the spiritual hollowness of contemporary masculinity in paintings of passed-out mates is present here, yet these themes are refracted through the decades since, through experience, a global and pervasive uncertainty, and a tangible level of disillusionment. In an age of authoritarian revival, Quilty’s decades-long interrogation of masculinity is gaining momentum.
Recently dubbed a ‘critical citizen’ by curator Lisa Slade, Quilty’s new work at Tolarno more explicitly depicts a self- critical citizen. In this case Self may not necessarily connote oneself, but one’s milieu, an individual splattered, dispersed throughout their socio-cultural plane. The artist – as well as a few family members and friends – are present in the landscape of the Rorschach, in the abstract works, and of course in Santa himself.
Image: Ben Quilty After the Pink Dress (Self Portrait) 2019, oil on linen, 265 x 202 cm
A new series of unique sculptures including Panelworks, Shoeforms and a centrepice Scooter/Stag.
Christopher Langton‘s new large scale installation takes ideas from science fiction about space colonisation – imagining space cities surrounded by asteroids, meteorites and other celestial bodies – and organisms from the microscopic world of viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Click to download the exhibition essay by Sophie Knezic.
Tolarno Galleries presents Amos Gebhardt‘s Night Horse at Sydney Contemporary art fair, Carriageworks, 12 – 15 September 2019.
Amos Gebhardt is an artist whose works have a cinematic scale, challenging normative notions of humanness by examining intersections between culture, nature and the body. Gebhardt maps both human and non-human narratives using techniques of collage, dance, slow motion and time lapse to frame large scale, multi-screen video installations and photographs.
The new photography series Night Horse examines the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season. The work places the viewer inside the kinetic swirl of the herd where hooves, flicking tails, and outstretched limbs offer an intimate encounter across the species divide. The horses move from solid, muscular shapes to traces of light that merge with the dusty atmosphere. The photographs thus progress towards a presence beyond the body, to a thinness of form that suggests the ephemeral nature of being.
Amos Gebhardt will also present a lecture as part of the Writing and Concepts series, 4.30pm Sunday 15 September as part of Talks Contemporary at Carriageworks.
Tolarno Galleries, in association with Martin Browne Contemporary, is pleased to announce the Australian Premiere of teamLab: Reversible Rotation. Presented in association with Melbourne International Arts Festival 2 – 20 October 2019.
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. Given how intensely teamLab works at the cutting edge of technology and futurism, it can be surprising to experience how grounded the collective’s practice is in the natural world, and indeed how their goal is to transcend the boundaries between humans and nature, and between oneself and the world.
In this exhibition four screen works will take over Tolarno Galleries. More information via Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Image: Enso – Cold Light, 2018. Digital Work, Single channel, Continuous Loop
A new Rosemary Laing series, shot on location in New Zealand.
Rosemary Laing was the recipient of the Kenneth Myer Alpine Artist Retreat program courtesy of Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet, Lake Wanaka and Mt Aspiring, New Zealand.
Dan Moynihan’s newest solo exhibition, following The Least I Could Do (2016). Moynihan also has a new mirrored brick commission Public Display of Reflection on view at Lyon Housemuseum until 21 July.
Image: Dan Moynihan Work in Progress (detail) 2006-2007, adhesive stickers and paint, dimensions variable.
Tim Maguire’s new series of prints, Dice Abstracts, premiered at Tim Maguire | Mixing Numbers: A Survey of Prints and Video 2003–2018 at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in November 2018. Drawing on imagery from his 1980s early works – simple landscape elements such as points of light on darkness, horizons, bands of light and reflection – Maguire devised the Dice Abstracts concept.
These simple elements were initially drawn in charcoal on textured paper and scanned. Using the throw of dice, the elements can be combined randomly to determine the base image, its horizontal/vertical orientation and positive/negative nature. Repeated three times – one throw for each of the three primary colours red, blue and yellow – the three coloured images are combined digitally. In total, there are 13,824 possible Dice Abstracts. In the parameters of Maguire’s project, each potential iteration can only be printed once.
Tim Maguire and Dorian Ford will collaborate on the performance To the Surface at Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday 23 May, combining Maguire’s ambient, meditative video projections with Ford’s improvised jazz for piano.
Image: Tim Maguire AU526-551-312 2018, 112 x 112 cm paper size, archival pigment ink on paper
Peter Atkins’ new project is a series of small-scale paintings that relate to his Metro Tunnel public commission entitled RAILway for Melbourne’s City Square, installed along Swanston Street un til October 2019.
The Passengers explores our collective social, cultural and personal narratives through the abstracted, obsolete designs of suburban train tickets issued between 1920 and the late 1980s by distilling and stripping away unnecessary details, focusing instead on the beautiful abstraction underneath. What is revealed is an extremely evocative collection of abstracted forms and colours that represent a complicated and fascinating visual coded language that is particular to Melbourne.
The Passengers continue Peter’s interest in appropriating and deconstructing what he terms readymade abstraction from the real world and amplifying those almost nothing moments…
Pictured: The Passengers 2018 installation view, acrylic on board, 40 x 22 cm each
New mixed media works from Brook Andrew.
Pictured: Orange 2019, oil pastel, acrylic paint, paper, glue, plywood and pencil on board, 140 x 140 cm
Brendan Huntley’s new body of work, Sky Light Mind, is strongly influenced by, as Huntley puts it “the natural light and crazy vibrant colours of the West Coast” he experienced while based in San Francisco on a residency in 2017.
“I see these works as a meditational expedition,” he says. “A journey, a trek… with paint, clay, glaze, glass, collage, and whatever other materials get sucked into the creative vortex.”
Image: Brendan Huntley Untitled (Fade Away and Radiate) 2017/2018, oil on linen, 99.5 cm x 147 cm.
A series of new works in crystal, copper and brass wire in woven wire morphic forms.
Image: Untitled A, copper and crystal vase, 55 x 32 x 32 cm
Danie Mellor presents his first solo exhibition at Tolarno Galleries.
In this new sequence of works, Mellor reimagines the landscape as the landspace, and in doing so opens up a new way of seeing history, ownership and possession of country.
“Reimagining the world as a landspace suggests we are in an enveloping environment, a world that has its past, present and future – its dreaming and landstory – unfolding as prescient and concurrent phenomena,” Mellor says.
Download the media release.
Beneath towering palms 2018
Diasec mounted chromogenic print on metallic photographic paper
Edition of 3 + 2AP
Tolarno Galleries presents Elizabeth Willing’s solo exhibition, Strawberry Thief, at this year’s Melbourne Art Fair. The exhibition will include a wallpaper print, a series of collage prints, hand-carved wooden sculptures and Anxiolytic. This is a bottled and branded spirit and glasses that will form part of a cocktail performance in collaboration with Melbourne mixologist, Cennon Hanson.
Image: Strawberry Thief (after William Morris), 2017. Wallpaper print, dimensions variable.
Elizabeth Willing’s Strawberry Thief project, presented at Melbourne Art Fair 2–5 August 2018, has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
In his first solo exhibition since 2012, Benjamin Armstrong will present a series of linocut prints relating to Mark McKenna’s 2016 book From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories.
Read an interview with Benjamin Armstrong in Imprint Magazine Winter 2018 edition.
Image: Embedded, 2018. Linocut, dye, ink, coloured pigment, iridescent pigment. Image size 76.5 x 57 cm, frame size 89 x 69 cm. Edition of 8. All works are hand printed with a baron on Arches BFK Rives.
Tolarno Galleries presents a collection of new Bill Henson photographic works.
“Plenty of artists conjure with images from the history of art, but none has been so ambitious in their attempt to marry the immediate, over-brimming present with the haunted past. And the fact remains that no other living Australian artist has produced as many images so full of tenderness, silence and longing” – Sebastian Smee, The Monthly April 2017
Buddens finds Rosemary Laing returning to Shoalhaven, New South Wales, the landscape of the iconic series groundspeed (2001).
As Laing notes: “The arrival of people, throughout history, shifts what happens in land, challenging those who have left their elsewhere, and disrupting the continuum of their destination place. A disruption causes a reconfiguration. It elaborates both the beforehand and the afterward.”
Download the full Buddens essay text written by Judy Annear.
Trump tweets, North Korean missile launches, global terrorism, vengeful weather, disruptive economies and Middle East instability: it feels like the rug has been pulled from under us. How do we respond to a world upside down, a place of crumbling sureties? Ben Quilty’s new work expresses the uneasiness of a society anxious about the future through the lens of personal experience – Michael Desmond, 2018
Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
STAND E 22
TOLARNO GALLERIES at ART HK 12 Hall 3, Stand 3X8
Presenting new works by:
Brendan Huntley, Andrew Long, Dan Moynihan, Conor O’Brien, Riley Payne, Jake Walker