Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
13 Mar 1998 to 07 Jun 1998
Howard Arkley, John Barbour, Janet Burchill, Stephen Bush, Tony Clark, Dale Frank, Maria Kozic, Lindy Lee, Hilarie Mais, Linda Marrinon, Jan Murray, Stieg Persson, Vivienne Shark LeWitt, Jenny Watson, John Young
In art, ‘style’ conventionally refers to those attributes which distinguish the work of individual artists, periods or movements. Many artists in the 1980s adopted a more complex and free-floating approach, involving new considerations of ‘style’ as the actual content of their art. Some artists revisited past styles, others drew on the aesthetic of design, cinema and advertising. Their eclectic, playful or subversive uses of style signalled a re-thinking of their relationship to art history and the connections between style and content.
Works from the Loti and Victor Smorgon Collection of Contemporary Australian Art – a substantial private collection, donated to the MCA in 1995 – formed the core of this exhibition. They were augmented by related works from the MCA Collection, as well as works from the JW Power Collection. An accompanying display of art publications provided greater insight into the style-consciousness of the 1980s.