A new issue of Art Guide out now (Sep/Oct 2014) and great value reading (cover price $5), which includes my features on MADONNA STAUNTON at QAGOMA and MELANCHOLIA at UQ Art Museum (both Brisbane). Melancholia (UQAM until 30 November 2014) traverses territory from the European masters to contemporary Australian art, all tied together with the focus on melancholia as the creative muse. Madonna Staunton’s contribution over fifty years is acknowledged by the Queensland Art Gallery in this outstanding exhibition, with her most recent paintings revealing the emotional content alluded to, but masked somewhat, in her earlier assemblage and collage works (QAG until 1 March 2015). Also acknowledging a long contribution is “Five Decades at Watters Gallery” (at SH Ervin, Sydney 19 Sep to 2 November). Tracey Clement’s article on this exhibition notes Geoffrey Legge’s sage words on their policy of never ‘head hunting’ artists: “We worked on the principle that the artist should approach us… because then there was a meeting of minds.”(p.48)
Other highlights in this issue include Andrew Frost on “The Beautiful People”. He concludes, “It’s no doubt my own fantasy that a wilful isolation from the rest of the art world would produce something authentic and real in Australia art … Of course, we want to be connected to the rest of the world, but at the same time we don’t want to be overtaken by it.”(p.67) And Melbourne Festival is profiled by Sarah Werkmeister (pp.57-59), noting the connections between the visual and performing arts that the program focusses on – an increasing engagement visible in the practices of a growing number of visual artists.