Paris Lettau
Brook Andrew: The Language of Skulls

Brook Andrew, The Language of Skulls

Ten Cubed, 18 September – 1 December 2018

By Paris Lettau

It's quite rare to encounter the work of an artist and feel like you have to re-ask yourself such basic questions as "What is an image?" and "What does an image do?" But these are the questions that frame and are also addressed to us in Brook Andrew's current show The Langauge of Skulls.

Located in Glen Iris, Ten Cubed takes its name from the mandated logic of the gallery's collection: ten...

Paris Lettau
Andrew Browne: Spill

Andrew Browne, Spill

Tolarno Galleries 7 June – 7 July 2018

By Paris Lettau

In the final chapter of his 1931 book, An Account of French Painting, Clive Bell attempts to explain what he calls 19th century French painting's (i.e., modernism's) 'momentous lapse in taste'. Of course, he meant a lapse from the perspective of those trained in the 19th century Academy's tradition of taste, and all the standards of painting it sought to uphold. For Bell's generation, on the contrary, the late 1...

Paris Lettau
The Shape of Things to Come

Avant-Garde & Mick

The Shape of Things to Come

Buxton Contemporary, cnr Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street Southbank, 9 March – 24 June 2018

By Paris Lettau

'Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world historical facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.'

In 1885, some thirty-years after Marx wrote these well-known words, the first Buxton Art Gallery opened on Swanston Street as a centre of Melbourne's most...

Paris Lettau
Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley

Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley

Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018

By Paris Lettau

Curated by National Gallery of Victoria contemporary art curator Pip Wallis, Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley is one of four summer solo shows on the third floor of the NGV Australia, including Louise Paramour, Mel O'Callaghan and Del Kathryn Barton

Born in 1927, and coming of age when Australian painters were increasingly en...

Paris Lettau
Isadora Vaughan: Recalcitrant Bodies

The Great Indoors

Isadora Vaughan, Recalcitrant Bodies

The Honeymoon Suite, Lv1, 60 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, 1 – 23 September 2017

By Paris Lettau

Isadora Vaughan's practice is synonymous with a certain style of sculpture and installation that has emerged over the past decade amongst a new generation of (usually VCA-trained) Melbourne-based artists. It is a style that emphasises materiality, indeterminacy and contingency, and generally promotes an aesthetic of scum, grunge and clutter. Thi...

Paris Lettau
Raafat Ishak & Damiano Bertoli: Hebdomeros

Raafat Ishak & Damiano Bertoli, Hebdomeros

Sutton Gallery, 21 April – 20 May 2017

By Paris Lettau

There is an irony to Hebdomeros, and that is that the exhibition teaches us more about the Italian 'metaphysical' painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) than it does about either of its two collaborating Melbourne based artists, Raafat Ishak and Damiano Bertoli.

The modest exhibition, which accompanies Ishak's solo exhibition 1977 (in Sutton Gallery's adjacent room), takes its title fro...

Paris Lettau
Sovereignty

This War Never Ended

Sovereignty

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 17 December 2016 – 26 March 2017. Curated by Paola Balla and Max Delany.

By Paris Lettau

Anyone familiar with contemporary art exhibitions, art fairs and international biennales might notice that Sovereignty just doesn’t quite feel like an exhibition of contemporary art. And it raises one question: Why is this?

It can’t only be explained by Sovereignty’s display of cultural products that aren’t “fine art”, bec...