Tales of the Unexpected
Aspects of contemporary Australian art

Introduction | Foreword | Essay | Works | Gallery

Rosemary Laing | Anne Wallace | Lyndell Brown and Charles Green | Kate Beynon | Sally Smart | Robert Boynes

image: Otto Dix 'Zerfallender Kampfgraben [Collapsed trenches]' etching, aquatint, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia, The Poynton Bequest 2003Rosemary Laing 'Flight research #6' 1999 Type C colour photograph Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Australia enlarge


Tales of the Unexpected: aspects of contemporary Australian art is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia recognising and supporting contemporary art.

This show includes some of Australia's most thought-provoking artists: Kate Beynon, Robert Boynes, Lyndell Brown and Charles Green (who work collaboratively), Rosemary Laing, Sally Smart and Anne Wallace. It focuses on six different approaches around the theme of the unexpected, engaging with experiences of the real world and transforming them to create poetic, 'fictional documentaries'. Each approach is revealed in some depth by a group or series of works from the past decade.

Significant aspects of the exhibition are the fluid intersections between fact and fiction, past and present, and across various media. The blurring of media boundaries is evident in the way that a photograph can have a performative or cinematic dimension and recall painterly traditions; a painting can incorporate or allude to photography and film; and collage (usually associated with small scale work) can evolve into an evocative, dramatic wall installation.

Through their diverse approaches, the artists in this exhibition provide us with much to contemplate. They do not convey narratives with beginnings and endings but instead suggest evocative dream states, inviting the viewer on journeys of mind and imagination.


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