From Stella Rosa McDonald…
The work of a curator is manifold: historian, theorist, aesthete, interpreter. The best curators succeed by using the artist’s work as an aperture, the worst throw meaning into deliberate disarray. Primavera, now in its twenty-third year, always defies curation—it’s a show built to house impressions rather than a single line of enquiry. This year artist Mikala Dwyer is at the helm, assembling her thirteen artists by her own thorough interests rather than their shared affinities. These are artists for which she has an obvious respect, making this Primavera one of the strongest in the exhibitions recent history.
Paul Yore’s crowded, seething tapestries climb the walls of the MCA; his large needlework Welcome to Hell could be a tribute to Hieronymus Bosch. Nearby, avarice and vice continue as subjects in the work of Emily Hunt, whose ceramics appear as relics from a parallel world. Displayed on a sleek black patent shelf below a series of etchings on hard ground, Hunt’s work is magnetic—each sculpture a work of restrained madness—where elaborate layers build to make a panorama. Marian Tubbs’ anthropomorphic, physically powerful installations in contrasting materials of steel and latex are decidedly original works lacking in notable resemblance. A notable feature in this year’s Primavera is the treatment of screen based work; a rolling series of videos by artists including Ishmael Marika, Madison Bycroft and Ben Denham are screened in sequence in a partitioned room—an element that stresses a departure from the incorporation of the gallery space as installation toward a return to traditional screen narratives. Nick Dorey’s fantastic alchemical installation The perfect heart of Robert Round anchors an exhibition that could, if one were feeling curatorial, be characterised by its scrutiny of spirituality and the somewhat invisible ties between mind and body.
Until November 30
</aseum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks
Pic: Marian Tubbs, Kings X Darlinghurts, 2014, digital print on silk, 79.87 x 145 cm, Courtesy the artist.