From Sharne Wolff…
The latest exhibition at Sullivan and Strumpf Fine Art has some lofty ambitions: the catalogue essay concluding with the promise that Speak to Me is a history in microcosm of international text-based art’. It’s admirable that the Gallery has included interesting works by a number of contemporary American artists (Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner), works loaned by other commercial galleries and pitted them all against several of it’s own talented stable in order to provide Sydney audiences with a show based around a conceptual theme. This creates the impression (at least) that this show isn’t just about selling art – just as important is the presentation of the Gallery’s (mainly younger) group of artists within the global tradition of text-based art.
Michael Lindeman, recently selected as an Archibald Prize finalist with a work in a similar vein, has contributed four works to the show in the form of letters to his Year 7 teacher, a policeman who recently booked him for an illegal right hand turn and even his own brain. Alex Seton’s carved bianco marble works Marble Ramble and Legacy Hunter ooze universal qualities while a collaboration between ‘serial texter’ Tony Albert and Natalya Hughes which includes the words, ‘We didn’t ask for your opinion’ and a neon lighting work by Tavares Strachan entitled I Belong Here (Blue) seem to speak particularly well to Australians. Other artists featured make for an illustrious roll call – Shane Cotton, Gonkar Gyatso, Sam Leach, Laith McGregor, Yoshitomo Nara, Shirin Neshat and Michael Parekowhai.
Until April 27
Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art, Zetland
Pic: Alex Seton, Legacy Hunter, 2013. Bianco carrara marble, 25 x 14 x variable cm. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art.