Well Fancy That #17: It’s A Conspiracy!

Stuff Feb 02, 2009 No Comments

“Here is an exhibition of an important contemporary Australian artist and an aesthetic sensibility that is the antithesis of everything that exhibitions such as Optimism in Brisbane would have us believe is the essence of the art of our time.

“Cressida Campbell seems never to have looked over her shoulder to see what other people are doing, or tried to second-guess trends and institutional taste. She has simply concentrated on making her subtle and distinctive woodblock prints, and has gradually become one of those artists that collectors wait in line to acquire.

“She has never worried about the tribe of curators and catalogue-essay writers and the art establishment has consequently ignored her. The paucity of her bibliography is striking, especially considering the quantity of verbiage heaped on far less significant artists. Curators have no idea what to make of her: on the face of it, she should have been an outstanding candidate for an exhibition on the theme of optimism, and there was a touch of irony in the fact that she had a commercial show at Philip Bacon’s gallery in Brisbane at the same time. But the functionaries of contemporary art are guided by brands and slogans, not by visual appreciation.”

Christopher Allen, Happy Days, The Australian, Jan. 31, 2009.

Andrew Frost

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