Cover image of the review

Every Brilliant Eye
  • Francis Plagne


1 Jul 2017
National Gallery of Victoria 2 Jun - 1 Oct 2017

Walking through Every Brilliant Eye—a large survey of the NGV's holdings of Australian Art from the 1990s curated by Jane Devery and Pip Wallis—I was struck by how much it look like parts of Melbourne Now, the NGV's sprawling 2013-2014 snapshot of contemporary art practices in Melbourne. It is not only that many of the same names reappear, sometimes with work little changed by the twenty years separating the pieces currently on display from what was shown in Melbourne Now. More notable is the impression generated by this exhibition that the overarching tendencies or styles that appeared to jostle with one another for space in Melbourne Now are essentially unchanged since the 1990s: fussy installation art, political work of varying degrees of explicitness, video, John Nixon & Company, deliberately shoddy and makeshift 'grunge'.

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