Art & Architecture
Art Almanac

Art Almanac May/June 2020

Art Almanac is a monthly briefing on national art news, reviews and exhibitions. Since 1974, Art Almanac has proudly published the most comprehensive gallery exhibition listings in the country. The magazine features extended exhibition reviews and a national roundup of current shows as well as a dynamic and comprehensive online offering.

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11 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
public art online

‘Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it. View it, code it, jam, unlock it. Surf it, scroll it, pose it, click it’, for some of us, Daft Punk’s infamous lyrics underscore how we work, rest and play at home aided by technology. Art adapts, and we face this new normal with optimism and a sense of community, transporting us emotionally and intellectually when physical connection is limited. We’re thankful that Australia’s institutions and museums have taken public art online with a timely, creative and personal approach via virtual access to collections and exhibitions, digital programs and educational entertainment for kids and parents. ‘Together In Art’ – from the Art Gallery of New South Wales is unique with videos pairing music and art, engaging tutorials from artists Nell, Tony Albert and Ben…

3 min.
art talk

Art Almanac is now sharing ‘Art Talk’ online, an extension of our new platforms ‘Virtual Galleries’ and the ‘Stockroom’, promoting artists and galleries. Art Talk is comprised of a selection of videos and podcasts on Australian art, all in one place for our readers to enjoy. The first three content creators we are tuning into put out new material regularly, whereas those at the tail end of this round-up are examples of excellent contemporary bodies of work that survey creative life in Australia. ‘Pine Copper Lime’ is a podcast based in Sydney with an international scope focusing on printmakers and lead by Miranda K. Metcalf, a former Seattle gallerist. Adding to a growing catalogue of up to 40 conversations and more to come (she’s aiming to publish weekly now) that enmesh…

4 min.
commercial galleries adapt

Social distancing measures have had a ricocheting affect on all aspects of the Australian arts industry. For commercial galleries with visitation restricted and Thursday night exhibition openings put on pause, this has required quick thinking, innovation, and a reliable internet connection, for galleries to reconfigure how they engage with audiences and ultimately, how they sell works. The digital initiatives being employed by galleries across the country have allowed viewers, both nationally and internationally, to connect with their exhibitions and stockrooms in new ways. Virtual ‘walk-though’ tours and personal video content from gallerists and artists have been favoured by Sydney’s Dominik Mersch Gallery - their website featuring a highly interactive 360 degree virtual tour of Peta Clancy’s ‘Undercurrent’, an exhibition of recent photographs commissioned by Monash Gallery of Art. Saint Cloche’s group…

1 min.
head on(line) photo festival

In a first for Sydney’s annual ‘Head On Photo Festival’ the 2020 iteration delivered its diverse public program solely online. From 2 to 17 May, audiences engaged with over 100 exhibitions - capturing the complexities of contemporary life, from politics to expressions of identity, sexuality and ageing. Web events included live stream artist talks, panel discussions, critiques and photography workshops conducted by prominent photographers such as Obed Wagenstien and industry experts from Adobe and Sony. Festival Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM said ‘In these challenging times when community is needed more than ever, the 2020 Festival offers a platform for learning, discussion, new ideas and community support.’ In conjunction with the festival, on 1 May, the Head On Awards were presented. Australian photographer Fiona Wolf took out the Portrait Prize, Mullengudgerybased Marcia Macmillan…

1 min.
prototype care package

Prototype, an independently-run online cinematheque, is delivering a series of projects in response to lockdown; direct to your inboxes, weekly. The ‘Prototype Care Package’ provides audiences with creative encounters, community and solace during home isolation with new or reedited experimental short films, moving image art, video essays and the undefined. Artists Sarah Hadley, Robert Nugent, Sam Smith, Pilar Mata Dupont, Esther Carlin, Malena Szlam, Leyla Stevens, Tiyan Baker, Amelia Hine, Sari Braithwaite, and Allison Chhorn offer reimagined possibilities of the present by exploring new landscapes and modes of communication. From ‘outback picnic stands’ and mineral extraction sites, to racing pigeons and flying mail, the psychoanalysis of a fictitious tyrant, and restraints of language, as well as social distancing themes of distance, touch and disgust. youaretheprototype.art…

2 min.
mccahon country justin paton

‘McCahon Country’ presents a fresh perspective on the works of Colin McCahon, widely viewed as a significant artist of modernity in his homeland of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his birth, writer Justin Paton follows the artist’s travels at home. Divided into fifteen themed sections, Paton conceptualises place and in doing so takes us on a journey, starting with ‘Here’ and ending with ‘There’. Headings start with geographic formations such as Land, Valley and Bridge then move to more linguistic and enigmatic titles including Word, Light and Guide. Paton invested time visiting the places of McCahon’s past to engage with the works at their origins. Paintings in the first section of the book are seminal to McCahon’s early years living on the Otago Peninsula in the…