Thank you for reading in 2017

Dear readers,

Thank you for your support in 2017. We're taking a short break over January and will return in February for another year of weekly reviews.

Best wishes,

The Memo Review team

Giles Fielke


NGV International, 17 December 2017 – 15 April 2018

By Giles Fielke

Buried within the question recently explored by Felicity D. Scott, ‘Who is the festival for?’, is the rapidly fading possibility of a public. It is a discourse that seems to slip too easily into arguments about the centrist compromise of regulated-, or neo-liberal, architectures of the state. The elaborate zones of exclusion raised for the National Gallery of Victoria’s inaugural Triennial, which follows its fi...

Victoria Perin
Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco

Del Kathryn Barton, The Highway is a Disco

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

By Victoria Perin

Although Memo Review has already examined an exhibition from the National Gallery of Victoria's quadruple billing of female Australian artists (see Paris Lettau's review of Our knowing and not knowing: Helen Maudsley), I believe that as the arts community has directly requested more representation of contemporary...

Julia Lomas
Angela Brennan: Forms of Life

Angela Brennan, Forms of Life

Ian Potter Museum of Art, 5 September 2017 – 25 February 2018

By Julia Lomas

In Angela Brennan’s exhibition at the Potter, a wall painting of textual fragments poses the question: “What do you want a poet for? To save the city of course!” Brennan’s engagement with the artefacts of early Greek and Cypriot civilization has been framed as an investigation into how such signs, symbols and forms persist through the ages, contributing, as director Kelly Gelatly’s c...

Kate Warren
Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance

Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance

Shepparton Art Museum, 11 November 2017 – 14 January 2018. Curated by Anna Briers.

By Kate Warren

There is nothing I enjoy more than a good impersonation. I recently came across a video of a young Martin Short appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The conversation had turned to the various impressions that Short was working on, when off-camera a voice is heard to ask, “Do you do me?” It’s actress Bette Davis, who had been Carson’s guest...

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...

Francis Plagne
Douglas Lance Gibson: What Was Once Yesterday Today & Tomorrow

Douglas Lance Gibson, What Was Once Yesterday Today & Tomorrow

Tolarno Galleries, Level 4/104 Exhibition St, Melbourne, 16 November 2017 - 16 December 2017

By Francis Plagne

As I was about to leave Tolarno Galleries after spending some time with Douglas Lance Gibson’s What Was Once Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, his first show with the gallery, I was stopped by two men. One, who I assume was some sort of building manager, informed me that a theft in the gallery had just been reported and...

Chelsea Hopper
Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 4 November 2017 – 3 March 2018

By Chelsea Hopper

When you first start making stuff, finding your voice as an artist can be a bit of a slog. There will always be bad paintings, clumsy drawings of still lifes and failed charcoal figures from the life drawing classes you were forced to take at art school. It can be a case of trying things out and then trying them again and again. After a few years, you ultimately make the decisio...