8-26 February, 2017
312 Johnston St, Abbotsford

T J Bateson, Soft White Iteration, linocut, 77 x 233 cm.

Louise Bylton, Flayed Anew I, II, III, silkscreen on linen, 21 x 31 cm.

Malini Maunsell, monoprints, size varies.

Diana Orinda Burns, Line Formations #2, collagraph, 76 x 116 cm

Jodi Heffernan, Coastal Edge, silk screen with printed Tulle 30 x 30 cm (image).

Standing room only at the Editions opening last night at Tacit

Curated by Keith Lawrence, 'Editions' at Tacit Contemporary Art, Melbourne, is an annual exhibition now in its fifth year. The show celebrates the work of over forty Victorian based printmakers. The exhibition encompasses all the gallery spaces at Tacit and covers a broad spectrum of trends in printmaking. It's a diverse exhibition sure to please as works range from intimate figurative studies to large scale abstract works. The approaches to printmaking represent current technologies in silk screen, lino cut, etching, monoprints and colographs. The surfaces printed upon often stretch the traditions of printmaking including various papers, materials and even linen. The framing was also experimental with many works forgoing the traditional mount and glass frames.

Roadie Punk Paintings

Billy Gruner, New Work for a Failed System, no’s 8-12, 2017,
Gold Gesso and Acrylic on Wood, 28 x 35 cm x 5 pieces.

Kyle Jenkins, Celare Monochrome Series #9-13, 2017, 
each work acrylic on canvas, 45 x 45 cm.

Roadie Punk Paintings
February 1 – 18

Billy Gruner and Kyle Jenkins have worked together since their PhD days and were invited to launch the new project space at Five Walls, a Melbourne gallery committed to reductive art. Symbolically the very first exhibition at Five Walls was also by Jenkins and Gruner.

Gruner refers to his own works and that of his long-time collaborator Jenkins, as Post-Formalist in this 21st Century. Both artists acknowledge a legacy to the Punk and Conceptual Art movements of the 1970s in the exhibition notes. The text goes on to state the seventies was a time of great social unrest and ‘upheaval’ against an established austere conservativism. The London Garbage Strikes under Thatcherism and the later Brixton Riots being two examples.

The materials, ‘sacred’ colour, and use of an articulated architectural line by Gruner in ‘New Work for a Failed System’ reference Gothic icon painting. Celare is Latin for ‘hide’ or ‘to conceal’ and Jenkins', Romanesque ‘Celare Monochrome Series’ refutes definition. Together the works and gallery text suggest a discontent with the current seemingly return to right-wing conservatism. A darkness, perhaps a medieval one as Gruner alludes to, is falling as century old traditions of methods and research post-Renaissance are challenged including the authenticity of science and journalism. ‘The System is Failing’ not only for global culture but for contemporary discourse in abstraction post-20th Century.

The references to pre-Renaissance painting are fitting methodologies for both artists. Historically, many of the Modernist abstractionists including Rothko, researched medieval art as a pathway to Abstraction.

Individually Gruner and Jenkins have shown extensively throughout the world and founded artist project spaces including SNO (Sydney Non Objective) Art. They have also curated and locally collaborated with like minded artists in Europe producing touring group shows of Australian art including ‘Australia – Contemporary Non Objective Art’ held at GKG in Bonn, 2008.

Thanks to Billy Gruner for editing assistance.

William Ferguson

Desert Night Memory, acrylic on paper, 40 x 57 cm.

Tribal Warrior, acrylic on board, 60 x 52 cm.

William Ferguson at work

William Ferguson b.1933 'My Dream Time and Spirit of Place' solo exhibition at Quadrant Gallery, Melbourne to July 23. Visit the full exhibition catalogue here. William has always stayed true to his vision of abstraction and has had a long and successful career exhibiting nationally and internationally. He was also a very influential and inspirational senior lecturer at RMIT University.

Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, had a superb collection of contemporary art. A large proportion of it is world class abstraction. Below are some of the great works.

Piet Mondrian, Windmolen, c 1917.

Kazimir Malevich paintings from 1917-21.

Sonia Delaunay, Curtain Material, 1951.

Willem de Kooning, North Atlantic Light, 1977,

detail: Willem de Kooning, Two Figures in a Landscape, 1967.

detail: Agnes Martin, Untitled No. 8, 1981.

Richard Tuttle, Blue White, 1968.

Dan Flavin, "monument" for V. Tatlin, 1969.

Gordon Matta-Clark, The Land of Milk and Honey, 1969.

Donald Judd.

Ellsworth Kelly, White Curve 1, 1972.

Steven Harvey

    Neshama, 2015, acrylic & powdered pigment on canvas, 198 x 228 cm.

Steven Harvey, solo exhibition, 'Night Hawk Spree', October 24 - November 26, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney.

Zero Group

Wonderful exhibition on now at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, about the Zero Group. Here are some highlights.

All white painting installation by various Zero affiliated artists.

Yves Klein painting installation

Gunther Uecker, The Yellow Painting, 1957.

Walter Leblanc, Twisted Strings, 1963.

Lucio Fontana, Le Jour, 1962.

Jan Henderikse, Zonder titel, 1963.


Great to visit the Van Gogh and Rijts museums in Amsterdam....

A crowd already at 10 am around Rembrandt's The Night Watch.

While this beautiful self portrait by Rembrandt sits quite alone,

16th century artist equipment

Loved this small De Stijl table, its made from poor quality found wood, driven by idea.

famous De Stijl chair

Museum Belvedere

Museum Belvedere is a privately funded modern museum in the Heereveen region, Friesland, the Netherlands. Here are some highlights for me...

The building has won Architectural awards.

Age Hartsuiker talking about the work of Adre de Jong

Age Hartsuiker with De Stijl furniture and paintings

Dave Meijer

JCJ Vanderheyden

Han Klinkhamer

Huug Pleysier

Dorris Zech

Frankfurt Main

Outer Frankfurt

Doris Zech with her landscape abstraction

Love Deutschland! This was my fourth visit to Germany. This time I fell in love with the language. It's so beautiful. The words so carefully constructed. I don't know if I will ever get a chance to go again but it was great to spend some time with Doris. She is a good serious abstract landscape painter who paints for pleasure and personal growth and exhibits locally in Frankfurt.

HangerBicocca Milano Anselm Kiefer

HangerBicocca in Milan is a private museum to house the Seven Heavenly Palaces by Anselm Kiefer. At present it has a special exhibition of Kiefer paintings. It is a vast space with an equally large space currently under construction for future temporary exhibitions.

The Seven Heavenly Palaces. The towers are all cast from shipping containers with concrete.

Me and Marinella at the exhibition

Each tower has a separate meaning including the twin towers New York and Noah's ark

Lead books prop up the towers. Nothing can be written on them. Knowledge is lost

Large work by Kiefer
Photographing a large work by Kiefer

Kiefer painting surface detail
Really very moving powerful work.