– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

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Exhibition

The National 2017

30 Mar - 18 Jun

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Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

– Learning Events

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Workshop

Art Safari

26 May, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Performance

Tribunal

03 Jun, 6.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Event

HANDFED

04 Jun, 9.00am, Level 4: Sculpture Terrace

– News from inside the MCA

Farewell Linda Marrinon Artist Room

We bid a fond farewell to Linda Marrinon’s Artist Room more

Zines, zines, zines

'It can be what you want it to be’. Stallholders at the 2017 MCA Zine Fair say it how it is. more

Young Art Lovers' Book List

To celebrate World Book Day (Sunday 23 April) the MCA Store and MCA Learning crew have teamed up to put together a selection of fun, inspiring and engaging titles sure to spark the imaginations of budding artists and creative thinkers. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Cross Currents: Focus on contemporary Australian art

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

17 Sep 2007 to 26 Nov 2007

Artists

Vivienne Binns, Elisabeth Cummings, Debra Dawes, Stuart Elliott, Dale Hickey, Butcher Cherel Janangoo, Hilarie Mais, Helem Maudsley, Rosslynd Piggott, Tobias Richardson, Gareth Sansom, Davis Stephenson, Michele Theunissen, Karl Wiebke, Djirrirra Wunungmurra, Ah Xian

Curator: John Stringer

MCA curatorial liaison: Rachel Kent & Russell Storer

about the exhibition

Cross Currents: Focus on contemporary Australian art was the third in a series of MCA exhibitions presenting the work of Australian artists from around the country. Like its predecessors Meridian (2002–03) and Interesting Times (2005), the exhibition had an emphasis on established artists who have a sustained exhibiting career of a decade or more, with each artist represented by a substantial work or body of works.

This exhibition featured painting, sculpture and photography by sixteen artists spanning the breadth of the country, from Yirrkala in the Northern Territory and Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia to Tasmania, as well as the urban centres of Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Apart from coincidences of nationality and era, their work had relatively little in common. Philosophic affinities however made it possible to identify two key tendencies: artists who surrender themselves to some kind of cosmic or collective order and those who are driven to create in search of their own identity.

For many artists a sense of spirituality is attained through restraint and adherence to carefully planned structure. In the simple geometry of the square or grid, artists of the twentieth century discovered a stable ideal, whose uniform proportions suited the pragmatic structure of modernity. A number of works in this exhibition referenced the grid, from the hermetic structures of Hilarie Mais, to the photographs of David Stephenson, to the densely textured paintings of Michele Theunissen. Other geometric designs derived from traditional forms such as fishing traps, as in the work of Djirrirra Wunungmurra, and woven textiles, as in the work of Vivienne Binns.

Other artists were more involved with imagery and representation. The discipline of landscape painting was evident in the work of Elisabeth Cummings, while urban life defined the uninhibited canvases of Gareth Sansom and the disturbing sculptures of Stuart Elliott. Interiors and still life were reflected in the works of Dale Hickey and Helen Maudsley, while traditional motifs and techniques were taken into new directions in the works of Janangoo Butcher Cherel and Ah Xian. The evolving aesthetic of these artists celebrated individuality and provided an appealing metaphor for this exhibition, which aimed to avoid stereotypes and applaud originality.

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