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...
Atlanta Eke: The Tennis Piece
8 February – 23 March 2019
By Sophie Knezic
'Oh my country! We will no longer have to go searching through the
history of ancient peoples for worthy subjects on which to practise our
brushwork...No, no people's history offers me anything so great, so
sublime as the Tennis Court Oath, which I am to paint.' So opined the
18th century painter and revolutionary Jacques-Louis David, after
securing the commission from the Société des Amis de...
The Saying and the Said
Richard Bell, Dredging Up the Past
Gertrude Contemporary, 2 February – 10 March 2018
By Rex Butler
In the recent rehang of the Australian collection at the Queensland Art Gallery, visitors before entering the gallery have to walk under Richard Bell’s Judgement Day (2008), which hangs on a wall above a doorway. “Australian Art Does Not Exist”, Bell’s painting declares in a nice self-contradiction because both Bell and his art are just about as Australian as you...
Gertrude Contemporary, 21 High St Preston, 28 July – 9 September 2017
By Anna Parlane
The recent relocation of Gertrude Contemporary from its long-term home in Fitzroy is both cause and effect of Melbourne’s ongoing gentrification. Having occupied 200 Gertrude Street for over three decades, the gallery’s move was forced by the rising costs of remaining in this increasingly “desirable” neighbourhood—a desirability, it is worth noting, that was in part stimulated by the p...