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Melbourne Art Fair

August 15, 2014

A comprehensive roundup of this year’s event, written by co-editor of (inside) Interior Design Review, Gillian Serisier

Above image: Installation, Karl Wiebke Painting, Liverpool Street Gallery, Melbourne Art Fair 2014

With a stockroom of exceptional pieces by 2014 Telstra Awards winner Tony Albert and a main floor of works by Sam Leach, Sullivan + Strumpf of Sydney is one of the key players at this year’s Melbourne Art Fair.

 

Sam Leach: Lioness moon, 2014. Oil and resin on wood. 12 panels, each 50 x 50 cm 200 x 150 cm overall

Sam Leach: Lioness moon, 2014. Oil and resin on wood. 12 panels, each 50 x 50 cm 200 x 150 cm overall

 

Also from Sydney, Dominik Mersch Gallery is doing well with works by Marion Borgelt a particular highlight, while Karl Wiebke at Liverpool Street Gallery is typically fine, as is their stockroom of smaller works.

 

Installation, Karl Wiebke Painting, Liverpool Street Gallery, Melbourne Art Fair 2014

Installation, Karl Wiebke Painting, Liverpool Street Gallery, Melbourne Art Fair 2014

 

On this note, while all are putting their best foot forward with large works dominantly displayed, most will have smaller works either in a stockroom display or available by request. That said, Conny Dietzschold Gallery has an exceptional collection of small works including those by Nicole Ellis and Willi Siber.

 

Joseph McGlennon: Thylacine Study Number 5, 2013. Giclee print on archival Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper. Photographed on location in Van Dieman's Land  100.0 x 120.0 cm

Joseph McGlennon: Thylacine Study Number 5, 2013. Giclee print on archival Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper. Photographed on location in Van Dieman’s Land. 100.0 x 120.0 cm

 

Annandale Galleries make a good use of their space with an installation of works by William Kentridge and an exceptional collage from Robert Motherwell. Roslyn Oxley9 has one of the best Dale Franks to be seen in some time, paired superbly with an Isaac Julian from the 10,000 series. Michael Reid continues to impress with exceptional work by Joseph McGlennon and the glorious work of Joan Ross.

 

Joan Ross: M’lady’s Ikebana Room, 2014. Hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper 91.0 x 71.0 cm

Joan Ross: M’lady’s Ikebana Room, 2014. Hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper. 91.0 x 71.0 cm

 

Closer to home Anna Schwartz’s offering of Erwin Wurm is fatly-terrific, as is Tolarno’s Caroline Rothwell. ARC One have a particularly elegant Murray Fredericks in pride of place, while an exquisite pair of Janet Laurence works are on view in the stockroom. Alcaston are, as always, one of the more impressive of galleries with Greg Semu’s large photographic works and Sally Gabori’s striking colours working together to excellent effect.

 

Greg Semu Battle of the Noble Savage I 2007 Black 2pac LED archival Lightbox with remote control light dimmer Image: 120 x 180 cm; Lightbox 126 x 186 x 2 cm © Musée Quai Branly & Greg Semu 2007

Greg Semu Battle of the Noble Savage I 2007 Black 2pac LED archival Lightbox with remote control light dimmer Image: 120 x 180 cm; Lightbox 126 x 186 x 2 cm © Musée Quai Branly & Greg Semu 2007

 

Michael Zavros and Rolls Royce Motor Cars as a collaboration is arguably the most show-pony of offerings with MZ Monographed cold coins (chocolate), a Car and the ‘international superstar twin models’ Jordan and Zac Stenmark.  It is in fact quite a bit of fun, with Vernissage night photographic opportunities being taken up by all.

 

Michael Zavros: The Octopus, 2014. 180 x 180cm. Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite

Michael Zavros: The Octopus, 2014. 180 x 180cm. Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite

 

For most however, the fun is in searching out and quickly buying the smaller and sometimes hidden pieces. For pure visual delight the Hayden Fowler on the upper floor is worth searching out, as are the quirky video works by Kawita Vatanajyankur or any number of works by as yet unknown and highly talented.

 

Kawita Vatanajyankur: The Basket [video still], 2014. Image courtesy of the artist and STILLS Gallery, Sydney. HD colour video, 16:9, 2:15 minute loop, edition of 3 + 1AP

Kawita Vatanajyankur: The Basket [video still], 2014. Image courtesy of the artist and STILLS Gallery, Sydney.
HD colour video, 16:9, 2:15 minute loop, edition of 3 + 1AP

 

Moreover the newly configured layout and focus on performance brings a refreshing and engaging sense to the whole as Artspace Executive Director, Alexie Glass-Kantor points out: “The project spaces and contemporary initiatives highlight alternative and parallel ways to think about practice: Jacqui [Jacqueline] Doughty for example with her curated performances that will proliferate through the duration of the fair offers an expanded window into the way artists work and broaden the art experience.”

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