Dittico Blanco e Crema, Amarie Bergman: balsa wood, acrylic paint and soap 15cm diameter x 8cm high; 4.4cm diameter x 2.2cm high 2017-2018


"Something unexpected happens when a flat field wraps around two circles of parallel planes to create a cylinder; it appears to simultaneously curve and straighten in a sensation of endlessness. The twin planes accentuate this quality through the continuity of their boundaries. Bergman presents a pair of cylindrical forms having similar proportions but different scales and degrees of precision. Made from contrasting materials, balsa wood and soap, their tints pay homage to the monochromatic works by Richard van der Aa and Ettore Spalletti."


How pleased I am to be presenting this two-part work in Abstraction Twenty Eighteen at Langford 120. The show, curated/organised by Pam Aitken, Lisa Sharp, Irene Barberis, Wilma Tabacco and Stephen Wickham, in conjunction with four other curated exhibitions taking place across Melbourne that were all initiated and timed by Stephen to coincide with The Field Revisited at the National Gallery of Victoria.


The opening is on Sunday, 29 April from 2 - 4 pm at 120 Langford Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051. http://www.langford120.com.au/e18-abstraction-twentyeighteen.html





Perlustrata no. 1, Amarie Bergman: softwall 183cmH x 30.5cmD, approximate footprint 425cmL x 130cmW 2018
molo designed softwall supplied by Seeho Su, Surrey Hills, Sydney

Quite surprisingly, I was invited by Martina Copley to present an exhibition project at BLINDSIDE, a rather prominent artist-run initiative in Melbourne. Saying yes meant exhilaration and a short lead-time: less than 4 weeks to prepare. My primary concern was locating a source of molo softwall but Joyce Seeho, at Seeho Su / Sydney, cordially said, "yes, I can loan you a pre-loved one." The available softwall’s height was only 183cm, although this meant it could remain vertically free-standing without hidden stabilizers as well as be easy to manoeuvre into the desired placement. The plan went as smoothly in practice as it sounded in theory: the entire process, with Paul MacGillivary as my ‘volunteer assistant,’ took five minutes from start to finish.


On a clear, full moon-graced evening, Perlustrata no. 1 opened on 29 March at BLINDSIDE alongside The Lunatic by Henry Trumble. Both exhibition projects continue until 14 April 2018; gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 12-6pm.



Two excerpts from the room sheet:

H Perlustrata no. 1, a translucent, snow-white textile configures a pleated line in a phenomenological intervention of geometric simplicity. The line takes the form of a three-dimensional double curve within BLINDSIDE Gallery Two, which redefines its architectural space.


This is the first work in a series of reductive objects having a poise, not unlike the stillness between two thoughts. It tangentially honours the 920th anniversary of the birth of Hildegard von Bingen, a visionary saint who always seemed to be perlustrata – shining with light.



Post-process image by Christopher Gulick, Factory 49, Sydney, image courtesy of the artist (2017)

I'm pleased to say Held in Suspense, my first article for Rochford Street Review, has just been published. It's on the American sculptor, Christopher Gulick, and his rather astonishing residency-workshop-performance-exhibition at Factory 49 in Sydney.


"The universe is in a constant state of change. Christopher Gulick presented us with concrete evidence of space-time’s temporal poignancy by energising the Main Showroom at Factory 49 with an informal suite of angular and curvilinear projection-relief sculptures. Such a construct could have been kindled in the 20th century in two-dimensions by Matisse while making his most edited cut-outs. It also recalls Arshile Gorky’s ‘Child’s Companions’ (1945), Mondrian’s balanced black and coloured subdivisions in the last grid paintings with a generosity of white galaxies, and Kandinsky and Joan Miro’s ability to seemingly levitate flat forms..."


In-process image by Christopher Gulick, Factory 49, Sydney, image courtesy of the artist (2017)

Factory 49's catalogue http://factory49.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/christopher-gulick.html
+ images by Marlene Sarroff of the finissage on 10 November 2017






Works in progress by Pablo Atchugarry, outside his studio at Fundaciόn Pablo Atchugarry, Uruguay

What a privilege to be one of only two visitors roaming around 30 hectares of the Sculpture Park created by the Fundaciόn Pablo Atchugarry near El Chorro / Maldonado in Uruguay. The Park was “designed in dialogue with the landscape… to appreciate the monumentality of the work of national and international artists.” Naturally, I concentrated on Atchugarry’s work, especially the massive ones in progress outside his studio and those installed in the Permanent Collection building. Although smaller, the latter sculptures showed his evolutionary explorations of scale and materials – not limited to wood, steel and bronze (finished with immaculate monochromatic glossiness) and marble. The most attractive pieces had a multiplicity of folds, initially reminiscent of flowing drapery, but Atchugarry increases the intensity of their intro-/extro-version with an inherent attribute of verticality: aspiration.


Portrait of Susan Sontag 1975 by Peter Hujar from "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture"


Maria Popova, in the latest edition of Brain Pickings, (re-)introduces us to The Aesthetics of Silence: a most eloquent essay by Susan Sontag on art as a form of spirituality and the paradoxical role of silence in our modern world's creative culture.


Let me know if you would like a PDF copy of the entire essay and I'll send it along.

BTW I only just discovered Brain Pickings via Nicola McClelland. Thanks to her for revealing this site of such contentment!



Ornament is a crime? Well, yes, there are crimes and then there are other crimes.
Ornament is Crime, a legally luxurious visual manifesto co-authored by Matt Hibberd and Albert Hill, pays "unprecedented homage to modernist architecture from the 1920s up to the present day."


Review by Frankie Crossley


Review in Aesthetica (edited):

"Ornament is Crime journeys between the decades to liberate Modernism from its traditional definitions and proposes its continuing presence in the work of 21st century architects... [With] elegant spreads and striking examples...  The use of quotes from cultural figures as diverse as Leonard Cohen and Kazimir Malevich here reframes Modernism as a timeless dialogue."



image courtesy of edX/Harvard University, archimagx

I’m enrolled at Harvard University doing my first course in architecture. Well, to be precise, I’m taking a free non-credit online course called The Architectural Imagination through edX and learning more about some fundamental principles of architecture. Baby steps for babies/babes!



Richard van der Aa 2009, image courtesy of ParisCONCRET


Such a mind enhancing pleasure to do an interview with Richard van der Aa for Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, made all the more special because it centers on a preview of his first solo exhibition in New York. 57W57 Arts will be featuring Pictures of Paintings until 8 April 2017.


“The images of Pictures of Paintings by Richard van der Aa hold our gaze: the sequence is hypnotic - an extended repetition of a rounded square in duo-toned variations of black, white and an elusive colour palette of muted creams and greys…”


pictures of paintings No. 1, Richard van der Aa: enamel on dibond 30 x 30cm 2016, image by Richard van der Aa