From Andrew Frost…
At the recent Melbourne Art Fair there were only a few artists who were represented by multiple galleries. One was Murray Fredericks whose photographs and video works were selling well despite prices north of $10,000 each. While sales alone are not the sole measure of the success of an artist’s work it does demonstrate just how popular Frederick’s work has become. Essentially a landscape artist whose work offers vast scenes of untrammelled nature – salt lakes, oceans and stormy skies – Frederick’s subject is not all that different to those photographers who offer panoramic shots of the outback, rains forests or the Tasmanian wilderness. The big difference to those tourist shop artists is that Frederick’s work offers up the same sorts of ideas of sublime nature but pares his images it back to a cool and restrained contemporary vision.
His latest show at Annandale Galleries is Topophilia which once again features images of places far from human civilisation but are undoubtedly touched by it. Images of ice sheets in Greenland, the sun and magical sun halos are juxtaposed with remnants of the Cold War – a nuclear missile detection station and its abandoned bedrooms and bars. Fredericks has also produced two video works: Borealis , a recording of the northern lights, and Radom , the interior of a tracking station. The real attraction of Frederick’s work is in exactly this kind of juxtaposition – where lesser artists rely on the sublime to provide its own effect, Fredericks puts the natural world in contrast with the human world, another and perhaps more powerful kind of sublimity created by disappearance.
Until November 8
Annandale Galleries, Annandale
Pic: Murray Fredericks, Icesheet #2564, late sun with 22? halo. Digital Pigment Print.