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Uncommon world: aspects of contemporary Australian art
15 July -22 Oct 2000

introduction | selected works

 

Neil Roberts Half ether half dew mixed with sweat 2000 canvas, cotton, leather, glass, copper foil and metal Collection of the National Gallery of AustraliaNeil Roberts Half ether half dew mixed with sweat 2000 canvas, cotton, leather, glass, copper foil and metal Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

'Strong in her own uncommon world
Of rippled dyes and patterns curled
In cumulative fugues of light ...'
1

 

Uncommon world brings together a diverse selection of recent Australian art. The exhibition includes works in a range of media paintings, prints, photographs, decorative art and installations. These works have been drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia and supplemented with significant loans from artists as well as other public and private collections.

The title is taken from a poem by John Thompson about the artist Clarice Beckett, written around the time of her death. While the art in the exhibition does not have any direct correlation with Beckett, the phrase itself encapsulates much of the strange, evocative poetry in works by artists such as Rosslynd Piggott, Euan MacLeod, Louise Hearman, Anne Ferran and others. It also suggests the notion of artists generating distinctive worlds through their work inspiring new ways of thinking, imagining and remembering.

Uncommon World: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art demonstrates the National Gallery's ongoing commitment to contemporary art. Rather than seeking to toe any particular line, the aim is to convey the diversity and vitality of current art practice.

 

Deborah Hart
(excerpt from the introduction of the exhibition catalogue)

1 John Thompson, 'In Memoriam, For a Painter', I Hate and I Love: Poems 1925-1963, Melbourne: F.W. Cheshire, 1964.