24 August – 22 October 2008
Curator: Andrew Gaynor
Style and Synthesis: Nine Australian moderns focuses on artists from the early to mid–twentieth century who interrogated notions of modernism.
Melbourne-based guest curator Andrew Gaynor has selected more than 100 paintings, prints and works on paper drawn from The University of Western Australia Art Collection as well as major public, corporate and private collections in Perth for inclusion in the exhibition.
Of the slow acceptance of modernist tendencies into Australian art, the critic Robert Hughes wrote that ‘time slipped a cog crossing the Equator.’ By focusing on the importance of an international ‘centre’ – a site of presumed excellence, both theoretical and physical – regional responses may get downplayed or, worse, disregarded. Style and Synthesis: nine Australian moderns provides clear examples of how such theoretical impulses were individually questioned to create unique local variants.
Style and Synthesis presents a selection of nine Australian artists who individually synthesised a diverse range of influences, from humble colour reproductions of paintings by Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh, through to those whose sensibilities were honed by direct study at French, English or German institutions