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For several years, and with hypnotic effect, Paul Davies has painted the same house over and over again. The house is always modernist – clean lines, hard angles – but the landscape around it changes constantly: in one piece, the house sits in a swamp; in another, a primeval forest, the skies above cloudy and foreboding. It’s a jarring juxtaposition, a nightmare version of an architecture magazine.
For artist Michael Johnson, size most definitely matters..
Philip Hunter has talked about his work as ‘an invariably complex field of conceptual possibilities and material outcomes; a zone where different foci, fragments, textures, perspectives, illusory spaces, moods and views coexist.’ A conversation with the artist can be as complex as one of his paintings, and when I visited him recently at his Melbourne studio where he was preparing for a forthcoming exhibition at Sydney’s Tim Olsen Gallery we discussed, among other things, his recent trip to Europe; his new ‘tropical inland sea’ paintings; Borges; Calvino; wasp nests; dog fences; horseshoes; memory palaces; horizons and ‘a vast book with no pages’ . What follows is a slice taken from that conversation.
Love art but unsure how to start your own collection? Experts, curators and gallery directors reveal their tips on how to find what suits your taste, budget and home.
The hottest new creatives in the frame.
With its darkly poetic title, Ballads of the Dead and Dreaming, Ben Ali Ong’s latest series will not disappoint those familiar with his ominous, seductive and moody photographs. The exhibition which is being shown at Tim Olsen Gallery, as part of Art Month Sydney, chronicles Ong’s ongoing fascination with ideas of mortality, spirituality and the subconscious.
Archibald winner, Johnny Cash fan, Mudgee boy, coffee snob.
April 2011 edition
Paul Davies designs the artist page for the latest edition of GQ
The paintings in artist Sophie Cape’s first solo exhibition reflect the pain of her former career as a downhill ski racer. Sophie’s paintings have been described as “shocking in impact with their shattered bones and broken dreams”. Sophie grew up in Mosman and is the daughter of Mosman artist Ann Cape
As floods follows droughts, the art dealers are hoping a new year will bring clients rushing back through their doors. The previous 12 months were so quiet and visitation so poor that 2011 simply has to be better. This may be an optimistic view, but only an optimist would ever open a commercial gallery. The problem has not been the quality of the shows but the dogged reluctance of buyers to succumb to their acquisitive impulses. The money was there but self-denial was practices with a rigour that is rarely seen in Sydney. As usual there are many shows crying out for attention, but at the risk of making an arbitrary connection, I’ll look at three exhibitions by three young painters working in completely different styles.. Sophie Cape, at the Tim Olsen Gallery is making her debut… Cape, who is the youngest of these three artists but perhaps, the most confidant...
Cross a paintbrush with an adrenalin rush and you get artist Sophie Cape, pictured. A champion downhill skier until injuries forced a change of career, Cape describes her violent way with a brush as "a cathartic expulsion of energy". Her pyschological self portraits,
Somewhere within Sophie Cape’s violent and visceral paintings is her biography. As the dirt and paint intersect on huge pieces of paper, the results tell the story of an elite athlete distraught after injures took away her goals. Cape was a champion skier who changed careers after serious knee and muscle injuries.
In casting around for a theme for this year’s Australia Day special, we hoped to choose one that would give the artists scope to explore and celebrate what it means to be Australian. The brief was that the work should be a personal response to our country’s diversity, landscape and culture. Each artist has brought a distinct vision of how they understand and picture our national character, reflecting the wide rang of reactions to the idea of Australia Day.
What does it take to become an art photographer? While well-known artists can command high prices for their work, most started with small shows and built their reputation over number of years. Ben Ali Ong is at the beginning of his career, having just secured representation with the Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney where at his first exhibition with the gallery he sold 22 pieces.
Your dazzling paintings in the 1990’s with right, clashing colours, attracted a lot of attention. What have you been working on lately?I’m focussing on the show coming up in March. It’s made up of embroidery works, small scale about 30 by 30 centimetres in size and all done by hand. Their embroidery mesh is spray-painted, they’re like the way I work with paper.
Lessons learnt from life.
The artist, 82, tells what he knows about…
Rex Dupain quickly acknowledges his favourite subject in his new book and exhibition, Australia: 150 Photographs. “Turn to page 57,” he says, deadpan. “She was the most obedient model in the book. I said stay still and she did just that. I didn’t even have to get her to sign a model release.” The joke becomes clear when you reach the right page: a statue in Waverley Cemetery
Photographer Rex Dupain was in a town in Western NSW and the locals were warning him not to go near the local Aboriginal reserve. Your car will be damaged, they said; you’ll be robbed or beaten up. But then Dupain met an Aboriginal man in the street who offered to take him there and show him around. “Don’t worry bro,” the man said. “If you’re with me you’ll be OK.”