December 3, 2009 - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney - Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO
December 3, 2009

Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO

Rosemary Laing, Airport # 3 1997, 2000. Type C photograph. Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of Ann Lewis AO, 2009. Image courtesy the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne. © the artist.

Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO
8 December, 2009–18 April, 2010

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
140 George Street,
The Rocks, Sydney

www.mca.com.au/

Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO provides an extraordinary road map of Australian art practice over the last fifty years, shaped by the vision of one of Australia’s best regarded collectors and art supporters. This exhibition presents the generous donation made by Ann Lewis to the MCA in 2009. As a result of Ann’s roles as a collector, philanthropist and gallerist, visitors to the exhibition can enjoy a collection of works brought together through a unique personal vision. It also includes a selection of Ann Lewis’ gifts to Newcastle Region Art Gallery and Moree Plains Gallery, as well as earlier gifts to the University of Sydney’s Power Collection, the precursor to the MCA Collection, which the MCA manages for the University.

Almanac maps changes in taste and influence, styles and ideas, through a personal collection of depth and currency. It includes a range of artworks from different times and locations, beginning with a work from 1953 by Sydney-based abstract artist Ralph Balson, to paintings by Aboriginal artists from remote communities.

A diversity of materials and approaches is included in this exhibition — from Hany Armanious’ hotmelt sculpture that solidifies the negative spaces of various wine glasses, to works by Rosalie Gascoigne and Neil Roberts that use found objects which carry the traces of their history. Recent works by leading artists from Aboriginal communities such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Dorothy Napangardi and Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori bring long standing cultural traditions into the present. Ann Lewis was one of the first advocates of Aboriginal art in Australia, a further reflection of the important role she has played during recent Australian art history.

Assembled as a private collection, this exhibition reveals the deep relationships Ann Lewis enjoyed with many of the artists. The end result is a fascinating showcase of her personal networks both in Australia and abroad.

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