Tuesday, March 22, 2011

artexpress @ AGNSW - 22 March

After Fenella plugged it on art nation I decided to wander over to the AGNSW at lunchtime to check out artexpress - a survey of the best high school art submitted for the HSC. Well it was an interesting collection of stuff. Keen to get a quick crib I asked the security guard who looked like he had been pulling a long shift which pieces he thought were the best. Answer? He didn't really like any of it, although to be fair he said he wasn't really into the arts!! Nice work AGNSW, maybe include a box "interest in the arts, yes; no" on the job form so you can avoid these walking pr nightmares.

It's in the same three rooms that housed the Dobell we visited late last year so interested to see if they kept up the practice of putting the good stuff in room 1. I think so, and two of my favourites, Alexandra Hunt's 'Building a metropolis' and Amy Hamilton's 'it is the link itself which perplexes' were here. An interesting touch that I liked was that the students could list some artists that influenced their practice. Some opted out, some listed artists I have never heard of and some listed a couple that rang a bell. Of the top 5 artists of the last century according to the $12 million shark (I think, Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, Hirst and someone else) no one here was influenced by Warhol, none by Hirst, only one by Pollock and a couple for Picasso. Even two people listed Fiona Hall! Amy was one of those listing Fiona Hall as one of her influences and I could kind of see that. Highlight of the second room was Iva Velevska's 'Personal Blueprint' where she had turfed out the furniture of her living room and then installed blue tarps and painted outlines over it. On closer inspection she had also listed Do-ho Suh as an influence - nice work, he is represented in the Big Lamington collection. Look for some points going to Iva as even in the art world you should always bet on self-interest. Room three had a couple of prize winners (as with the NAS grad show there were at least 5 prizes to go around the ~40 students showing here so a fairly good chance of bagging something). I probably disagreed with the judges and thought Kate Devlin's Illusio was the strongest here.

All told an interesting show. Best of all it looked like open season on photography being allowed but even so the whole show is online so you can save the shoe leather on the hike over to the AGNSW. Points this week, 3 to Hamilton; 2 to Velevska and 1 to Hunt. Hopefully some of you will continue with your art.

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