27 November 2014

Wilson_Geoff_Pines_1978 Geoff WILSON, Pines, dead gums, Delamere (detail), 1978, oil on canvas, 75.0 x 88.0 cm, University of South Australia Art Collection. Photograph by Sam Noonan, courtesy Samstag Museum of Art. Launching the 2015 exhibition program for UniSA’ s  Samstag Museum of Art, Museum Director Erica Green says it is probably the best annual program since the Museum opened in 2007.

The program and brochure will be unveiled at Art After Dark West End on Thursday 27 November.

Green says the program promises originality, quirkiness and works of great distinction.

“We have always tried to be original with our exhibitions and events and to devise things that are not just curatorially distinguished, and maybe a bit unexpected and different, but that will also be of genuine interest to Adelaide’s growing audience for contemporary visual arts,” green says.

“I believe every single one of our projects this year has a ‘must see’ feel about them.”  

The curtain opens in February with some serious fun from an internationally inspired project conceived by European curator Hans Ulrich Obrist called do it (adelaide). It is the latest incarnation of this global project, in which instructions by international artists such as Yoko Ono, Sol Le Witt and Tracy Emin, are brought to life by local artists, musicians, designers, students and museum visitors.

The exhibition opens in step with the festival season with special instruction by Amalia Pica to … 'throw a party'.

Just in time for the footy season, the Basil Sellers Art Prize kicks off, an inspiring exhibition by artists whose works explore Australia’s obsession with sport and sporting culture in the broadest possible sense. Some of Australia’s leading contemporary visual artists take on the theme of sport and the issues and ideas that this provokes. The exhibition includes Gerry Wedd's quirky surfing ceramics, and  a left-of-field portrait of Nicky Winmar’s iconic image in response to racism in football, from prize-winning artist, Tony Albert.

July promises to be big and brilliant at the Samstag with simultaneous projects featuring two outstanding South Australian masters - Geoff Wilson and Sydney Ball.

The Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape exhibition is a celebration of this great, though critically neglected painter, and presents more than 70 paintings and works on paper spanning his remarkable 70-year career. A major publication (with an essay by celebrated curator Barry Pearce) illuminates Wilson’s rightful place alongside that of other groundbreaking Adelaide modernists. 

Downstairs at the Samstag in July, Birth of the Cool, which includes the work of Sydney Ball, is a reappraisal of Australian abstract painting from 1963 to 1973 and presents works by four of the most nationally outstanding painters of that era: David Aspden, Michael Johnson, Dick Watkins and Sydney Ball.  Distinguished curator Terence Maloon, director of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra, has selected some of the finest and most dazzling works from this dynamic decade in Australian art.

October is a feast for art and film lovers, with three simultaneous exhibitions.

Leading South Australian artist, Hossein Valamanesh, has a deservedly growing profile internationally, and his work keeps finding new forms of expression and subject matter.

His large-scale, four-screen media work, Char Soo, premiering at Samstag in October, is the fourth major commission undertaken by the Samstag Museum and the Adelaide Film Festival, and the centrepiece of the Adelaide Film Festival’s esteemed Art and the Moving Image program. This atmospheric work – to be seen for the very first time at Samstag – places the viewer in the midst of a bustling crossroad at an Iranian bazaar. Char Soo is a metaphor for the country of Iran itself, criss-crossed by centuries of invasion and cultural and religious interaction.

Also opening in October 2015, are two exhibitions as part of the Art Gallery of South Australia's inaugural Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Firstly, Daniel Boyd: A Darker Shade of Dark, is a spectacularly immersive floor-to-ceiling video installation, that uses shimmering and shifting fields of animated dots, to evoke a mysterious and dreamlike universe against the backdrop of dark matter.

The other October exhibition is Archie Moore: Les Eaux d'Amoore, in which Queensland-based artist Archie Moore has devised a highly original way to explore themes of Aboriginal dispossession and the colonial past. Working with a master perfumer, Moore creates a selection of perfumes which evoke the artist’s recollection of the diverse smells of his childhood in South East Queensland: for example ‘Sapphistication’ (a combination of Brut 33 and rum), is the aroma of his sophisticated aunties.    

“The Samstag Museum of Art exhibitions in 2015 will challenge and excite audiences,” Green says.

“Art keeps drawing us to its door and captivating our interest and imagination.

“Art helps to explain our lives and society – it presents an opportunity to think, to engage with new perspectives, to play with alternative points of view and not only enjoy that exploration but also grow from the experience.

“We really are quite privileged to have access to these local and international perspectives of this for free and right on our doorstep.

Samstag’s 2015 program will be launched at the Samstag Museum of Art from 5-6pm, on Thursday 27 November, as part of the Art After Dark West End, end-of-year pARTy, across participating venues in the West End precinct.

News Editors please note: More information on attending the program launch event, speaking with next year's artists or reviewing the program and exhibitions, contact: Erica Green, Director, Samstag Museum of Art, mobile 0438 821 239.

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: +61 8 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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