11 May – 7 July 2019, curated by Emily Jones
By Elyssia Bugg
Honey, ore, vinegar, lead, venom, urine and lye. These are among some of the fifty or so elements used in Martin Ruland the Younger's 1612 text, Lexicon Alchemiae Sive Dictionarium Alchemistarum, to describe the concept of prima materia. Translating from Latin as "first matter", prima materia is a recurring, elusive object of alchemical and philosophical research. It is also, in name, one of...
Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY
Australia Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale
11 May – 24 November 2019
By Amelia Winata
Angelica Mesiti's sumptuous three-channel video ASSEMBLY takes
democracy as its central concept. Curated by Juliana Engberg, the work
slickly weaves together the artist's trademark vehicles of music and
This is the third time that Denton Corker Marshall's black box pavilion
has housed the Australian exhibition in the Giardini. 2017's offering,
Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
8 March – 28 July 2019
By Rex Butler
I was quite prepared to come to Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art like a Countess blogger. Yet again the pairing of Nora Heysen with her father Hans, as though her story could only be told through him. Yet again the "Australianising" of Australian art history when this is also a German story and, when Nora goes overseas to study at the C...
Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley: Temptation to Co-Exist
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
6 April – 14 July 2019
By Francis Plagne
It is a somewhat disconcerting experience setting out to review an exhibition when one has the distinct feeling that whatever might be said about it has already occurred to the artists and is already, in some sense, factored into the work itself. This is precisely the feeling one has moving through this well-curated retrospective of the work of Janet...
Comedy and Chaos
Octopus 19: Ventriloquy
31 May – 20 July 2019, curated by Joel Stern
By Audrey Schmidt
The 19th edition of Gertrude Contemporary's Octopus series, curated by
Joel Stern, centres on the generative theme of ventriloquy. The comic,
the sinister, the vaudevillian, the carnivalesque, the macabre, the
puppet master, the pathological, the perverse all strike me as the most
It is no surprise, however, that the curatorial focus i...
Michael Stevenson, Serene Velocity in Practice: MC510/CS183
Monash University Museum of Art
22 May – 6 July 2019
By Anna Parlane
Serene Velocity in Practice: MC510/CS183, recently opened at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), is the first major exhibition by the Berlin-based New Zealand artist Michael Stevenson to be held in Australia in some years. Since his survey show at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011, Stevenson has generated a new body of work that demands a shi...