Here’s footage of my pal Jess Johnson in the midst of her epic install for Primavera (the MCA’s annual curated exhibition for artists 35 years and under). What a ledge. This year’s iteration was curated by Robert Cook, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Photography and Design at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. The show also includes Jacqueline Ball (WA), Jackson Eaton (WA/VIC), Heath Franco (NSW), Brendan Huntley (VIC), Thomas Jeppe (WA/VIC), Juz Kitson (NSW) and Kusum Normoyle (NSW) and opens in Sydney tomorrow night.
Sydney-based editors Lisa Lerkenfeldt and Hayley Morgan describe their emerging publication New Planes as a ‘framework for re-evaluating what is considered acceptable contemporary journalism’. Following a snappy looking pilot issue with cover art by Jake Walker, they’re set to launch issue one at Good God in Sydney this Thursday (details above). Featuring articles on Hany Armanious and Tom Polo, you can grab a copy from one of the following locations.
Yesterday Tolarno Galleries announced that Brendan Huntley will be joining their stable. The artist and Eddy Current frontman (who previously exhibited with Utopian Slumps and Hell Gallery) will have his first solo exhibition at Tolarno next year.
It was a case of sorting the wheat from the chaff at this year’s Melbourne Art Fair. Leg of Lamb sifted through the stands and fell in love with the following:
1) Patrick Hartigan at Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney Despite their modest scale, Hartigan’s oil paintings hold their own. Using old family photographs (some from Slovakia) and found images as source material, the artist paints solemn men, blurry babies, grandmothers, malevolent cats. These ordinary scenes are made strange by his muted handling of paint. Facial features are smudged and obscured, perhaps emblematic of our own vague recollections of distant relatives and times of old.
2) Brendan Huntley at Hell Gallery, Melbourne Huntley’s hand-made ceramics are real charmers. The anthropomorphised vessels wear expressions that range from solemnity to delight. Congregating on artist-designed plinths that resemble linen-clad drawers, each piece is complemented by a pastel portrait bearing its likeness.
3) Megan Jenkinson at Stills Gallery, Sydney In 2005, photographer Megan Jenkinson travelled to Antarctica as a New Zealand Antarctic Artist’s Fellow. Her photographs at Stills’ stand are the result of this visit. Undeniably pretty, these landscapes also have an edge. The works are lenticular, so, depending on where you stand while viewing them, the islands they depict appear and disappear, mirage-like. They recall maps made by the first Antarctic explorers, many of which contained land masses that were never found again.
4) Julian Hooper at Gallery 9, Sydney Hooper recently exhibited a new body of acrylic paintings at Gallery 9, and some extras from the series were included at their stand. Whimsical figures sit atop jewel-coloured geometric abstractions – a stingray balances a tulip on its nose, shells twist like dancers. Apparently the artist has compared these figures to those found in fashion magazines, but Leg of Lamb reckons their curious costumes and posturing point more towards Arcimboldo and the surrealists…
Honourable mentions: Peter Madden’s meticulously constructed collages at Ryan Renshaw, Marley Dawson’s moving (literally) paintings at Roslyn Oxley9 and Riley Dixon’s cheeky little bird sculptures at Twitcher, a project space curated by Peter Fay and Wendy Foard.