Volume One: MCA Collection

Art Life , Exhibitions Jun 15, 2012 No Comments

From Carrie Miller

Volume One: MCA Collection features the work of more than 170 Australian artists acquired since the MCA was founded more than 20 years ago and is exhibited on the new floor of the gallery devoted to the permanent display of its collection.

The show offers a snapshot of local contemporary art practice over that time, tracking, for example, the shift from the dominance of painting to the rise of video art. And in a smart curatorial move, the work of Aboriginal and Torres Islander artists is integrated with that of non-indigenous artists.

You’d think that finally being given some room to breathe, the contemporary art world would be celebrating this exhibition but, as usual, it’s complaining, especially about the omission of some key artists. As such, it’s interesting to note the inclusion of Justin Trendall’s Darlinghurst 2010, which maps the ‘psycho-geography’ of the artist-run gallery network within that area of Sydney. This work’s the Trojan Horse inside the gallery walls that smuggles a few of those artists in.

Anyway, for once this isn’t a show about contemporary art curated for art world insiders; it’s an exhibition packed to the rafters with the stuff that will engage anyone interested in looking at art.

Until March, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks.
Pic: Courtesy the artist & Anna Schwartz Gallery Sydney & Melbourne.

Carrie Miller

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