Ian McLean
Wayne Eager New Paintings

Wayne Eager New Paintings

Eastgate Gallery, 158 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 14 October – 11 November 2017

By Ian McLean

An exhibition that caught my eye last week reminded me that the surrealists didn't seek their aesthetic thrills in Paris' modish contemporary art galleries or amongst the Old Masters in the Louvre, but in unexpected places. Somewhat off the beaten track, in an old picture framer founded in 1879, about a dozen very uncontemporary large abstract expressionist paintings occupied...

Anna Parlane
Jason Phu: My Parents Met at the Fish Market

Jason Phu, My Parents Met at the Fish Market

Westspace, 27 October – 9 December 2017

By Anna Parlane

Jason Phu’s My Parents Met at the Fish Market is the latest in Westspace’s series of solo commissions, in which all four galleries are given over to one artist. While he is younger and less experienced than previously commissioned artists, Phu is clearly up to the task of filling the space. His irrepressible style is immediately manifested in the fact that to enter the exhibition’s secon...

Rex Butler
Gareth Sansom: Transformer

Gareth Withdraws

Gareth Sansom: Transformer

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 15 September 2017 – 28 January 2018

By Rex Butler

The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Sebastian Smee barely got a word in during the Q & A held soon after the opening of Gareth Sansom’s retrospective at the NGV. Sansom, just about the ultimate alpha-male for all of his cross-dressing, entertained the audience with tales of his early cricketing prowess, his father returning home after the war without a limb, his e...

David Wlazlo
Joseph Kosuth: A Short History of My Thought

Joseph Kosuth, A Short History of My Thought

Anna Schwartz Gallery, 7 October – 25 November 2017

By David Wlazlo

Coupled with the pervasive hum of the neon transformers, Joseph Kosuth's A short history of my thought at Anna Schwartz Gallery is a grab-bag of his past fifty years working with neon. Far from any noir promise historically associated with the technology, the neon works—mounted on the pristine white walls of a commercial gallery—seem muted and grim, limited in their referenti...

Amelia Winata
Darren Sylvester: Céline

Marble Palace

Darren Sylvester, Céline,

Bus Projects, 4 – 28 October 2017

By Amelia Winata

Stepping through the front door of Bus Projects and being met by Darren Sylvester’s Céline, I am reminded of Anna Viebrock’s set design for the exhibition The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied at the Fondazione Prada in Venice. Viebrock, a stage designer by trade, was invited by curator Udo Kittelman to take part in the exhibition alongside Thomas Demand and Alexander Kluge. She completely tr...

Helen Hughes
Brent Harris: the small sword

Brent Harris, the small sword

Tolarno Galleries, 28 September – 4 November 2017

By Helen Hughes

Hallucinations between figure and ground flicker across the surface of many of Brent Harris’s compositions in his new exhibition at Tolarno Galleries, the small sword. In the studio (2017), for example, the main figure’s cartoonish outline—that most primitive of compositional devices that distinguishes an object from its background—wobbles and warps, as if filtered through the mottled lens...

Kate Warren
The Score

The Score

The Ian Potter Museum of Art, 1 August – 5 November 2017. Curated by Jacqueline Doughty.

By Kate Warren

One of the things I enjoy most about going to an orchestral performance are the moments when the musicians onstage complete their final warm-ups, exercises and tunings. Being not yet focused into a single force, the performers’ last-minute preparations are individual and not precisely coordinated or harmonised. Nonetheless, they blend and complement each other, creating a mix o...

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...