Geoff Newton, Director of Melbourne gallery Neon Parc, is the only Australian exhibiting at the 2013 Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) art fair due to take place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica from the 24th to the 27th of January.
A suite of sculptures by Melbourne artist Rob McLeish will be presented by Newton – one of only a few gallerists featuring solo projects. “My decision to present a solo presentation of Melbourne artist Rob McLeish was based upon his previous success at NADA Miami Beach in 2010 and the subsequent interest in his practice from both curators and collectors, such as Arnold Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum in New York,” says Newton.
For the ALAC fair, Rob will present a suite of lifesize gymnasts replete with flailing arms draped in a grotesque yet beautiful corsage of epoxy resin, mild steel and aluminum. The intriguing sculptures freeze, obscure and mythologize incidents in the artist’s biography, through the lens of late modernist practice. A pool handrail becomes a Judd-esque sculptural form, in turn becoming a rye comment of the decrepitude of minimalism and the “purity” of modernism.
Explaining his work, McLeish says: “Gymnasts are showcased as idealised examples of elite dexterity and their wild contortions, especially frozen mid-action, are overtly sculptural. I always wanted to take figuration (being an archetypical artistic pursuit) as a basic cue for the works and then collide, in the making process, a culturally aspirational view of creativity against a wilfully morbid and non-aspirational one. The sculptures do look like theyʼve been crafted, ripped apart and then grafted back together.”
Rob McLeish is a recent studio resident at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include “Negotiating This World”, National Gallery of Victoria; “Parallel Collisions”, 12 Adelaide Biennale; (2012) “Gravity Stole My Eyelid”, Neon Parc; (2011) “Inside Gymnast”, NADA Miami; “Flowers in the Attic”, TCB Art Inc., Melbourne (2010); “Don’t Trust the Artist”, University of New South Wales, Sydney (2009) and “Pissing in the Infinity Pool”, Ocular Lab, Melbourne (2009). His work is included in significant collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Proclaim Collection, Artbank, and private collections in the United States
Art Los Angeles Contemporary, now in its fourth year, is the International Contemporary Art fair of the West Coast, held January 24–27, 2013. For more information visit the ALAC website here