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Primavera 2007: Young Australian Artists

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


24 Aug 2007 to 03 Nov 2007


Patrick Doherty, Honor Freeman, Briele Hansen, Anthony Johnson, Justine Khamara, Jess MacNeil, Amanda Marburg, Katie Moore, Martin Smith

Curator: Christine Morrow

about the exhibition

Primavera 2007: Young Australian Artists brought together nine artists whose practices ranged across two-dimensional, three-dimensional and time-based work: Patrick Doherty, Honor Freeman, Briele Hansen, Anthony Johnson, Justine Khamara, Jess MacNeil, Amanda Marburg, Katie Moore and Martin Smith.

Their diverse art forms spanned painting, photography, installation, sculpture, video and ceramics. These artists’ works operated at the level of the sensual art object and generated a keen awareness of the role of our senses in mediating our experience of the work of art, especially in examining the trustworthiness of our visual perception. The motif of the human body linked many of these objects and installations, which either situated the body of the viewer firmly within the space of the work, included representations of bodies that were incomplete, or removed the body from the work in a manner that drew attention to its absence.

The works in Primavera 2007 also addressed matter in terms of weight, texture, substance and surface, exploring such materials as plasticine, woodchips, self-adhesive vinyl, plaster, foam, clay and bronze. In this exhibition, traditional two-dimensional media (photography and painting) and ephemeral media (video) adopted radical physical embodiment. References to craft, DIY and the home made, together with the representation of household objects and environments, situated several of the works firmly within a domestic realm.

A principle of ‘formlessness’ united the objects and installations in this exhibition—apparent in representations of amorphousness, collapse, liquid states, shape-shifting, gaps, rupture and spillage. The artists also explored the idea of the past by incorporating classical references, childhood narratives, old-fashioned objects and retro decorative finishes. Some works investigated the idea of nostalgia while others examined how time unfolds through the concept of loss.

Primavera is the Museum’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of whom have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally.

Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda, a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29.

Primavera 2007 toured to the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide: 18 April – 1 June 2008

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Patrick Doherty
  • Same as it ever was