Charles Green

  • Sally Smart

    This exhibition of Sally Smart’s large collage constructions was a collection of madwomen and female freaks. In Smart’s accomplished and ambitious images, these extraordinary female figures were vivisected and scattered across the gallery walls in reassembled satin, calico, canvas, and paper body-parts, like a host of gender-conscious Shrouds of Turin. Smart divides and stretches her figures so that their gestures and acrobatic contortions collide and overlap with a cubistic sleight-of-hand; the division between inside and outside, usually marked by the body’s envelope of skin, became blurred.

  • “Downtown: Arkley, Rooney, Ruscha”

    As this show demonstrated, Howard Arkley, Robert Rooney, and Edward Ruscha have been working through the paradoxical forms of the (sub)urban abyss for well over twenty years. These artists not only took the demon out of suburbia but, less obviously, made the familiar into something more than Pop defamiliarization achieved through repetition. The quality of emptiness in Rooney’s 19 deliberately clumsy conceptual-minimal photographs of a friend’s car parked in randomly selected locations, Holden Park 1 & 2, 1970, is also evident in Ruscha’s Twenty Six Gasoline Stations, 1962. This quality is the

  • Mike Stevenson

    New Zealand artist Mike Stevenson carefully copies famous photographs in fuzzy, heavily worked charcoal drawings and his models are, to say the least, carefully chosen. These instantly recognizable desert landscapes and gallery interiors appeared in the art magazines of the late ’60s and, since then, have illustrated a thousand texts on the dematerialization of the art object. Twenty five years ago, they were documentations of earthworks by Walter de Maria and Michael Heizer and now, in Stevenson’s exhibition “Some Latter-Day Art,” a few extra details have come into focus as if the edges of each

  • “White Apron—Black Hands”

    “White Apron—Black Hands” was comprised of the work of three Aboriginal women (Lel Black and Jackie Huggins, both writers, and Leah King-Smith, a photographer). It juxtaposed oral histories with archival photographs to chart the use of Aboriginal women as forced domestic labor for white families in Queensland earlier in the century. The exhibition was effectively divided into two separate installations, but this division was blurred through the use of repetition, refraining, and photographic manipulation.

    The first installation was a scrupulous documentation of the lives of the Aboriginal women

  • Richard Dunn

    At first glance, Richard Dunn’s latest paintings look like samples from a tartan catalogue that have been enlarged and placed across oversized white canvases. Each tartan rectangle is also a window into cell-like spaces and each viewer a jailer, surveying his or her unseen charges. Monochromatic squares of tartan alternately suggest a parody of neo-Modernist abstraction and the murky grids and perspectival spaces of a prison. Dunn’s pictures are a sort of Rorschach inkblot endurance test that is dependent on the viewer’s taste for extremely complicated textual puzzles. Developing from the artist’s

  • Domenico de Clario

    Domenico de Clario’s The Seventh Ãrit (Elemental Landscapes: 1975–1993), 1993, was a reinstallation of an earlier exhibition during which two out of five installations had been dismanteled two days before it opened in 1975. In a storm of controversy, the museum had ordered the pieces destroyed, prompting a sit-in by angry artists and students. The five installations in the earlier show incorporated 19th-century landscape paintings on display at the National Gallery of Victoria, and each represented one of the following elements: fire, water, earth, ether, and air. In its expanded reincarnation,

  • Ian Burn

    Ian Burn was one of the most important members of the Art & Language group, exhibiting in early Conceptual art exhibitions such as “ Information” in 1970 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He lived in New York between 1967 and 1977, working both collaboratively (Burn, Mel Ramsden, and Roger Cutforth founded the Society for Theoretical Art and Analysis) and collectively (with Art & Language). Upon his return to Australia in 1977 he worked with trade unions and wrote several important revisionist books on postcolonial art. During the last few years, until his tragic death by drowning just after

  • Geoff Lowe

    Geoff Lowe’s visits to Vietnam, in 1991 and 1992, are reflected in three groups of work: straightforward drawings and gouaches of Hanoi, Halong Bay, and the Mekong River; the banners and posters he made to advertise his exhibition in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; and, finally, complex paintings that hybridize the experience of Vietnam. In these, he memorializes two types of cultural milieu: those of an Edenic assembled world of friends and family; and the constructed world of nostalgia, which for Lowe exists as a series of memories of the ’60s and ’70s. Lowe’s impressive paintings, A Constructed

  • Sydney Biennale

    An examination of borders—of conditions at the edges of culture, politics, and science—is clearly timely, given the dubious credibility of cultural convergence. The Ninth Biennale of Sydney indexed the strategies of postcolonial art: bricolage, mimicry, and hybridization. Curator Anthony Bond focused on art about boundaries and transgression, stressing recombinative bricolage as crucial to border art. Romero de Andrade Lima constructed androgynous cult figures from composite parts; Orshi Drozdik combined medical props and theories of cultural control in a literalization of the gendered subject’s

  • Inge King

    Inge King’s sculptures are an intensely cosmopolitan revision of Modernist abstraction. Her recent bronze constructions connote the body in a weirdly literal montage of cubist space and anthropomorphic silhouette. Until 1989, it seemed that King would continue to embellish the signs of high Modernism—impersonal surfaces, industrial materials, and geometric forms. In parallel with the reductive teleology of Modernism, she had simplified her sculptures. From the evidence of this retrospective, however, it is clear that her work always embodied a contrary tendency towards narrative complication.

  • Lyndal Jones

    Lyndal Jones’ exhibition “Prediction Pieces, 1981–1991” documented performances and installations produced over the last decade in Australia, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Edinburgh. Dramatizing a feminist and post-Structural analysis of our troubled society, Jones used methods of prediction—tarot, dice, weather forecasts—in performances involving slide projections, taped sound, television, dancers, and actors. For this survey, the artist assembled videos and ten vitrines containing the props, costumes, scripts, slides, and documentation for each work. Jones wished to avoid the substitution of the “

  • “Zones of Love”

    Curator Judy Annear’s survey of contemporary Japanese art, “Zones of Love,” is hybrid territory. The nine artists and two collaborative groups (Dumb Type and Complesso Plastico) exhibiting their works here are self-consciously “world” artists. Since the ’70s, contemporary Japanese life has been constructed by the West as the ultimate experience of modernization. This implies that the post-Modern Japanese artist is influenced by the artificial, the fake, and an ambivalent reverence for the idea of art. “Zones of Love” shared this revisionist character, unlike earlier surveys, which simply reified