Australian art lovers were treated to a variety of intriguing and exciting art exhibitions in 2013, traversing the entire spectrum of art practice from performance to painting to electronic art.
Some of the highlights were “Red Queen” at MONA in Tasmania, “13 Rooms” at Pier 2/3 in Sydney, Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and “Melbourne Now” at the National Gallery of Victoria, to name a few.
If 2013 was a year to remember, 2014 promises to be an even more memorable year, with presentations by some of the world’s leading artists as well as exhibitions showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of the Australian contemporary art scene.
As Australia eases into 2014, BLOUIN Artinfo takes a closer look at 10 of the most exciting exhibitions planned for the upcoming year.
Sydney’s Carriageworks is set to play host to the first major work by influential French artist Christian Boltanski to be presented in Australia. Consisting of 16 tonnes of scaffolding encapsulating a fast moving filmstrip depicting a series of photographs of newborn babies, as well as two digital clocks counting the number births and deaths across the world in real time, Boltanski’s epic installation “Chance” explores the concept that all human life is the product of chance.
“Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration” will be the largest collection of the artist’s work ever presented in the southern hemisphere, featuring more than 100 finished images, proofs, and objects. Highlights will include a selection of Close’s early mezzotints, examples of his monumental later works, new series of Jacquard tapestries, as well as several series of state proofs which provide a seldom-seen insight into his technical and creative process.
Sydney’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present a selection of photographs from the incredible archive of Beijing-based collector Thomas Sauvin. Since 2009 Sauvin has amassed, edited, and archived more than half a million photographic negatives rescued from certain destruction at a recycling plant. The “Beijing Silvermine” project documents the lives of ordinary people during a period of immense social change from 1985 to 2005.
Johannesburg-based photographer Roger Ballen has been working with black and white film for nearly fifty years. Fundamentally psychological in nature, his practice centres around an ongoing process of defining hidden parts of himself. For MOFO 2014 at MONA, Tasmania, Ballen will present works from his “Asylum” and “Apparitions” photographic series.
For their 28th project, Sydney-based Kaldor Public Art Projects will present three works by the world renowned Slovakian artist Roman Ondák in conjunction with the Sydney Festival. To be presented over two weeks from January 10 to 24, 2014 at the historic Parramatta Town Hall in Western Sydney, “Project 28: Roman Ondák” will feature two of the artist’s most celebrated works, “Measuring the Universe” and “Swap,” as well as a new work commissioned especially for the event, “Terrace,” which is a reproduction of Ondak’s own terrace at his home in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Nick Mitzevich, is known for his innovative and daring curatorial approach, which is reflected in the “Dark Heart” theme that he has chosen for the 2014 Adelaide Biennial. The extensive survey of Australian contemporary art will ask difficult questions and expose the underbelly of society through an exploration of the political, the psychological and the personal, according to Mitzevich.
Taking place from March 21 until June 9, 2014, the “19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire” promises to be one of the most interactive and engaging editions of the Sydney Biennale ever staged. Curator Juliana Engberg has selected works by more than 90 artists from 31 countries that present “an exploration of the world and contemporary aesthetic experience through the inventions and desires of well-known artists, as well as many exhibiting in Sydney for the first time,” according to Engberg.
“Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado” is a major coup for the NGV, which will play host to the largest number of Italian works ever loaned to one exhibition by the Museum del Prado, spanning 300 years of Italian art, from the early 16th to 18th Centuries. The exhibition will and will feature the work of more than 70 Italian masters including Raphael, Correggio, Titian, Tintoretto, the Carracci, and Tiepolo.
German-born Australian artist Gunter Christmann passed away on November 19, 2013, just short of the major retrospective of his work that is due to take place at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne in 2014 from July 26 – November 9. Best known for his “sprinkle” paintings and his abstract colourfield works, Christmann’s work can be found in several major collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the British Museum. The Heide retrospective will give long overdue recognition to an artist who has been described as “one of Australian art's better kept secrets.”
To be presented as part of the 2014 Adelaide Festival, “World in Collision” is curated by Richard Grayson and features 9 artists from around the world who suggest new ways of modelling and imagining the world, and investigate the potentials of what might lie beyond. Through time travel, digital frontiers, abandoned Star Wars sets, near-death experiences, new physics, and second moons, “World in Collision” investigates the ways artists imagine alternatives to arrive at new understandings of potential and transformation. Participating in the exhibition are Benedict Drew (UK), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (LEB/FRA), Susan Hiller (UK), Paul Laffoley (US), Rä di Martino (ITA), Katie Paterson (UK), Fred Tomaselli (US), and Artur ?mijewski (POL).