‘Contemporary Painting’ at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne 7 – 18 May 2013

Gallery 9 proudly presents Contemporary Painting at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne: 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne: Tuesday 7 – Saturday 18 May 2013

Simon Blau, Julian Hooper, Suzie Idiens, Tonee Messiah, Jelena Telecki and what   


Gallery 9 is fulfilling its original intention to exhibit Sydney and overseas based artists in Melbourne, in the same way the Gallery exhibits Melbourne based artists in its Sydney premises. The biennial Melbourne Art Fair provides one opportunity but this, a larger scale exhibition with fortyfivedownstairs offers these Gallery 9 artists both a moment to show together beyond the gallery’s familiar walls and a gateway directly into the Melbourne’s cultural hub.

Contemporary Painting presents the latest works of six artists whose individual practices involve, although not solely, painting. Collectively there is great diversity amongst these artists’ works and each artist in the exhibition was selected to present the multifarious approaches to painting being explored by contemporary artists. Aside from this intention to exhibit a wide range of painting, the exhibition does not inherently imply curatorial aims nor provide a catalogue essay describing one. However, in showing artists, all of whom Gallery 9 represent, it may be possible recognise curious and intriguing points of similarity between their works and these further reinforce why this particular grouping of artists has been chosen.

The exhibition will include figurative paintings by Jelena Telecki, semi abstracts by Julian Hooper and Tonee Messiah, conceptual abstract work by what and Simon Blau as well as non-objective painted objects by Suzie Idiens. These artists have received considerable critical acclaim and attracted curatorial interest from institutions within Melbourne.

Work by Simon Blau is held in the NGV Collection, and what and Tonee Messiah both have works in the Monash University Collection. In 2007, Julian Hooper’s major work Liliu (collection, Queensland Art Gallery) was exhibited in ‘All in an Afternoon’ at The MADA Gallery (formerly the Monash Faculty Gallery) and in 2012 he was included in ‘Post Planning’ curated by Bala Starr at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

Simon Blau: Fold Up 2011

Simon Blau’s new exhibition at Gallery 9 explores the nature of painting and abstraction. Blau explains: “The work is essentially about the stages in the life of a painting. How it unfolds or re-folds at various points in its development in relation to the time and placement of the viewer”

Drawing upon the history of painting, and abstract painting in particular, Simon Blau’s work tackles notions about the art object – the nature of its existence and ideas concerning materiality and immateriality. Paintings are tangible and physical: they have colours, sides and flat surfaces yet in this exhibition the works can be changed. Panels can be folded up or out revealing different colours and creating different shapes on the wall. This fluidity of form and shape is an integral part of the work. That it can be transformed according to the wishes of the viewer, provides an additional interactive aspect.

Simon Blau: Fold Up Gallery 9 27 January – 19 February 2011

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