Primavera at 25: MCA Collection celebrates twenty-five years of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s Primavera exhibition. Taking this significant milestone as a departure point, Primavera at 25 brings together works from the MCA Collection by 22 artists and artist groups, who have previously exhibited in Primavera, that explore ideas of transformation, time and history.
Some artworks – by Nell, Rebecca Baumann, Gemma Smith and Ross Manning – appear to transform in front of our eyes, shape shifting to create new forms.
Time is explored by Tim Silver and Emma White in works that record time, mark set intervals or deliberately age; whilst Simon Yates, Sangeeta Sandrasegar and Heather Douglas draw upon personal and shared memories.
Nicholas Mangan, Danie Mellor and Constanze Zikos consider our relationship to the past by their use of classical motifs and forms, reflect on our cultural histories or reinterpret traditional designs using contemporary materials. The collective known as Barbara Cleveland perform historic works reinterpreting them for contemporary audiences.
Established in 1992, Primavera showcases the work of young Australian artists aged 35 years and under. One of the longest-running exhibition series in the country, Primavera has become a significant platform for early career artists. Over 206 artists have exhibited in the annual exhibition between 1992 to 2016. Primavera artists have gone on to exhibit both nationally and internationally, to become influential educators, and to play a significant role in the development of contemporary art practice in Australia.
The MCA continues to support Primavera artists through exhibitions, education and public programs, and significantly through acquisitions into its Collection. Since 1993, the MCA has acquired over 230 works by artists who have exhibited in the yearly exhibition. These include artworks that were first exhibited in a Primavera exhibition to works made many years afterwards.
After its presentation at the MCA, Primavera at 25 tours throughout the country visiting five regional museums and cultural centres.
Primavera at 25: MCA Collection artists include: Abdul Abdullah (Primavera 2015), James Angus (Primavera 1992), Rebecca Baumann (Primavera 2011), Barbara Cleveland (Primavera 2011), Heather Douglas (Primavera 2015), Mikala Dwyer (Primavera 1992 and guest curator Primavera 2014), Shaun Gladwell (Primavera 2003), Agatha Gothe-Snape (Primavera 2010), David Griggs (Primavera 2006), Nicholas Mangan (Primavera 2004), Ross Manning (Primavera 2009), Danie Mellor (Primavera 2005), Yukultji Napangati (Primavera 2005), Nell (Primavera 1999), David Noonan (Primavera 1999), Sangeeta Sandrasegar (Primavera 2004), Tim Silver (Primavera 2002), Gemma Smith (Primavera 2008), Emma White (Primavera 2010), Pedro Wonaeamirri (Primavera 2005), Simon Yates (Primavera 2006) and Constanze Zikos (Primavera 1992).
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 Jackson.
Curated by Megan Robson
Tour the exhibition with our volunteer guides and discover art, artists and their hidden stories, free tours of Primavera at 25 run daily.