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The Must-See Exhibits At Melbourne Art Fair 2018

Art

The flagship event of Melbourne Art Week, Melbourne Art Fair is back from August 2nd to 5th. After a two-year hiatus, the fair will be held in a new venues at the Southbank Arts Precinct (alongside ACCA): Vault Hall, a 2,000-square-metre marquee, and The Martyn Myer Arena Riding Hall, a heritage space recently converted by Kerstin Thompson Architects.

The 15th fair will bring together 40 leading galleries, presenting works by artists from Australia, New Zealand, and the wider region.

Here we spotlight our top picks to look out for!

16th July, 2018

Installation of Pierre Mukeba’s 2017 solo exhibition at GAG Projects (Greenaway Art Gallery) Trauma. Photo – GAG Projects.

A portrait of Pierre at Trauma. Photo – GAG Projects.

Pierre Mukeba’s Indisposed, 2017, brush pen and fabric appliqué on cotton, 360x180cm. Photo – courtesy of GAG Projects, Greenaway Art Gallery.

Pierre Mukeba’s The Beauty of, 2017, brush pen and fabric appliqué on cotton, 380x200cm. Photo – courtesy of GAG Projects, Greenaway Art Gallery.

Elle Murrell
Monday 16th July 2018

Pierre Mukeba · GAG Projects

Young Adelaide-based artist Pierre Mukeba is one to watch. Pierre immigrated to Australia in 2006 with his family, from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, after living in a refugee camp in Zambia and with family in Zimbabwe. It was living with his uncle that inspired Pierre to take up drawing, while his grandfather was a famous artist in Congo.

In a restricted colour palette, the self-taught 23-year-old depicts his family members candidly, often swathed in strikingly patterned garments, and other everyday scenes of life in Central Africa.

Pierre’s emotive works on display at Melbourne Art Fair offer subtle yet crucial, thought-provoking glimpses into the trauma experienced by asylum seekers and other displaced persons.

Lucy Culliton’s Dogwood 2018, oil on board, 80x60cm. Photo – David Paterson, courtesy of Jan Murphy Gallery.

Lucy Culliton’s Carrot flowers in plastic jug 2018, oil on board, 183x183cm. Photo – David Paterson, courtesy of Jan Murphy Gallery.

Lucy Culliton · Jan Murphy Gallery

Regular Archibald, Wynne and Sulman finalist, Lucy Culliton will be showcasing stunning new still life paintings.

Inspired by her rural home in Bibbenluke, New South Wales, Lucy’s exhibitions typically focus on a single subject matter, with florals taking centre-stage at Melbourne Art Fair.

The National Art School graduate boasts works in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House, Canberra, along with many private collections, and her inclusion in MAF presents a covetable opportunity for collectors.

Cressida Campbell in her Bronte studio. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Cressida’s artwork Hallway with kilims, 2017-18, watercolour on incised plywood, 120x80cm. Photo – courtesy the artist and Philip Bacon Galleries.

Cressida’s The Pool, 2018, watercolour on incised plywood, 60x240cm to be exhibited at the Melbourne Art Fair. Photo – courtesy of Sophie Gannon Gallery.

Cressida Campbell · Sophie Gannon Gallery

We were chuffed to land a studio visit with Cressida Campbell last week, as she prepares to exhibit with Sophie Gannon Gallery at the Melbourne Art Fair.

Cressida’s five new works – two unique woodblock prints, and three painted wood blocks – are inspired by both familiar interior scenes from her own home, and new explorations into reflections on water.  As always, the works are painstaking in their detail, and larger in scale than ever before.

 

Sally Gabori exhibition installed at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. Photo – courtesy of the Estate of Sally Gabori and Alcaston Gallery.

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s (left) Dibirdibi Country, 2011, Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 120x91cm, and (right) Thundi2010, Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 196x300cm. Photos – courtesy of the Estate of Sally Gabori and Alcaston Gallery.

Sally Gabori · Alcaston Gallery

Born in Bentinck Island c.1924, The late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and her Kaiadilt community members were relocated to Mornington Island by missionaries in the 1940s.

Amazingly, the artist did not pick up a paintbrush until she was in her 80s, with the encouragement of Mornington Arts Centre co-ordinator Brett Evans. Despite this, in her later years, Sally became one of Australia’s most highly regarded and sought-after indigenous artists.

Passing away in 2015 (read the moving obituary by her son-in-law here), Sally has left behind a tremendous legacy. The special opportunity to witness a selection of her vibrant land and seascapes should not be missed.

Ildiko Kovacs’ Beam, 2017, oil paint on plywood,180x365cm. Photo – courtesy the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.

Ildiko Kovacs’ Roped, 2017, oil paint on card mounted on board, 102x76cm. Photo – courtesy the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.

Ildiko Kovacs’ Deep Blue, 2017, oil paint on plywood, 180x122cm. Photo – courtesy the artist and http://www.martinbrownecontemporary.com/Martin Browne Contemporary.

Ildiko Kovacs. Photo – courtesy the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.

Ildiko Kovacs · Martin Browne Contemporary

Exhibiting since the 1980s, acclaimed artist Ildiko Kovacs will unveil new abstract landscapes at Melbourne Art Fair.

Through these works, the highly coveted Sydney-based painter continues her rich exploration of colour and line – intuitive, raw and textured.

Mirka Mora original paintings on the wall of her home studio. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Mirka in the studio.  Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Angel Daughter, Mirka Mora, c. 1960, 56x76cm, charcoal on paper. Photo – courtesy of the artist and William Moira Galleries.

Mirka Mora · William Mora Galleries

Every time we feature prolific Australian artist Mirka Mora, the feedback we receive is ecstatic! It’s safe to say, Mirka holds a special place in many hearts.

Fair go-ers this year will be treated to a number of original charcoal sketches by Mirka, created between 1950 and 1970, exhibited by her son’s gallery, William Mora Galleries.

Not titled, 2018, ink on paper, 14x19cm and Not titled, 2018, ink on paper, 13x12cm, both by Fulli Andrinopoulos. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Arts Projects Australia.

The Arts Project Australia Northcote studio. Photo – courtesy of Arts Projects Australia.

Julian Martin’s Not titled, 2018, pastel on paper, 38×28.5. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Arts Projects Australia.

Julian Martin’s Not titled, 2018, pastel on paper, 38×28.5. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Arts Projects Australia.

Arts Project Australia

Established in 1974, Arts Project Australia is a centre of excellence supporting artists with an intellectual disability, promoting their work and advocating for their inclusion in contemporary art practice. More than 130 artists work from the Northcote studio each week, developing their own practice with support from professional staff artists.

At Melbourne Art Fair, this wonderful group will showcase captivating art by Fulli Andrinopoulos (pictured top) Samraing Chea, Alan Constable, and Julian Martin (above).

Chiharu Shiota’s Absent Bodies, 2016. Installation view Anna Schwartz Gallery. Photo – Zan Wimberley, courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Chiharu Shiota. Image courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Chiharu Shiota · Anna Schwartz Gallery

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota will unveil The Crossing, a new site-specific installation. This work marks Chiharu’s first presentation at an Australian art fair, and will see a sculptural field of white thread interwoven with books.

Best known for her intricate and large-scale installations that explore complex relationships between body and mind, The Crossing is an organic construction like a biological structure that flexes in all directions, rejecting a hierarchical system.

‘Every single thread carries a vast amount of meaningful information, accumulating in a mass of awareness. It is the history of our interwoven, universal narratives, filling the space with an organic structure of human matter,’ explains Chiharu. ‘With The Crossing, I want to present this intermingling but compact system, to map the knowledge we share and pass on to our children, who pass it on to their children.’

Travis MacDonald’s The rug store tiger, 2016, oil on linen, 100x70cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries.

Travis MacDonald’s Carlton romantic, 2018, oil on canvas, 56x46cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries.

Travis MacDonald’s They’re all little trees, 2018, oil on canvas, 51x61cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries.

Travis MacDonald · Niagara Galleries

One of two New Zealand-born artists on our radar for the upcoming fair is Travis MacDonald. The now Melbourne-based painter graduated from VCA in 2011, and has since been awarded the Gary Grossbard Drawing Prize and the Lionel Gell Foundation Drawing Scholarship.

Travis draws on his collection of photography and an interest in history, music, conspiracy theories and world events to present storied compositions on canvas.

A past exhibition by Julian Hooper. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Gallery 9.

Julian Hooper’s Neska, acrylic on canvas on linen, 102cmx76cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Gallery 9.

Julian Hooper’s Baba, acrylic on canvas on linen, 38cmx30cm. Photo – courtesy of the artist and Gallery 9.

Julian Hooper · Gallery 9

We can’t get enough of Auckland-based artist Julian Hooper’s beguiling paintings. The accomplished painter has exhibited extensively throughout his homeland, Australia, and in New York.

We’re especially intrigued by Julian’s graphic works featuring imaginative configurations of letters and numbers – deciphering these paintings in real life will be a MAF highlight!

Melbourne Art Fair
August 2nd – 5th
Southbank Arts Precinct (alongside ACCA)
111 Sturt Street
Southbank, Victoria

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