July 17, 2009 - Art & Australia - Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific contemporary art publications in Venice
July 17, 2009

Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific contemporary art publications in Venice

Art & Australia‘s June/July/August issue and latest survey publication on sale at Daniel Birnbaum’s 53rd Venice Biennale

Art & Australia Vol. 46 Iss. 4

Winter 2009
Theme: Shifting Identities


Current: Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand

80 artist profiles
360 pages with over 240 images of latest works
6 essays by leading curators


In its 46th year of publication, the art magazine of record, Art & Australia, is pleased to continue its presence at the Venice Biennale.

Also appearing in Venice is A&A‘s latest book – Current: Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand is the first comprehensive survey of all that is cutting edge in Australian and New Zealand contemporary art practice.

Eighty artists have been carefully chosen to reflect the vibrancy of art today, with names familiar to followers of contemporary art – Tracey Moffatt, Shaun Gladwell, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Patricia Piccinini, Ron Mueck and Del Kathryn Barton – along with some of the region’s freshest talents, such as Benjamin Armstrong, Rohan Wealleans and Francis Upritchard.

Current and the latest issue of Art & Australia are available the Biennale bookshops in the Giardini and Arsenale and at the newly opened Punta della Dogana.

Art & Australia’s Winter 09 issue:

As Bernard Smith so sagely noted fifty years ago in his Antipodean manifesto – reprinted in this Winter 2009 issue – in each game of identity it is the artist who plays the ‘creative and liberating’ role. As our feature artists personally attest, identity is not an idea to be defined and defended at all costs. Instead, as Nikos Papastergiadis patiently observes in his opening piece, cultural identity can open up more poetic possibilities of ‘seeing the world’. Each artist in this issue throws light on the next. The bold refusal of young Australian Indigenous artists Tony Albert, Daniel Boyd and Christian Thompson to be seen as colonised subjects in turn informs the shifting identity of Lisa Reihana’s multimedia Maori practice. Dan Taulapapa McMullin’s paintings speak strongly of the Pacific diaspora and his parallel journey as a Samoan fa’afafine, or biological male raised to assume a female role, in turn segues to the sexual questioning at the heart of Australian queer art’s inversion of otherness. Pushing boundaries is at the core of Lynette Wallworth’s immersive interactive practice – a blurring of the public and private which, in this issue, finds painterly form in the work of John Beard, whose solitary heads and headlands speak eloquently of a ‘seeing into the communal self’. Beard’s revealing darkness finally leads us to the mysterious night-time unearthings of Matt Coyle’s new drawing series ‘The Shades’, a special Art & Australia commission to be published over four issues.

Current: Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand:

Edited by Art & Australia
248mm x 300mm hardback, 360pp

The six essays address key aspects of contemporary practice. The essays are:

• ‘Against the Current’ by Justin Paton, Senior Curator at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in Christchurch, New Zealand;
• ‘The creation of contemporary Australian art’, by Nick Waterlow AOM, Director, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, the University of New South Wales;
• ‘Current fragments’, by Victoria Lynn, independent academic and curator and forthcoming Visual Arts Curator of the 2010 Adelaide Festival for the Arts
• ‘Looking both ways: Reflections on portraiture’, by Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney;
• ‘Points of Convergence: Indigenous curators explore the question of the contemporary within Aboriginal art’, a roundtable between Brenda L. Croft; former senior curator of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra; Stephen Gilchrist, Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne; Bruce McLean, Associate Curator of Indigenous Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane; and Keith Munro, Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney;
• ‘Hello Darkness: New Zealand Gothic’, by Robert Leonard, Director, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

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