Sullivan+Strumpf’s 2014 program is incredibly diverse. You’re sure to find something that pleases your peepers, whether you like your art in paint, marble, texta, video, watercolour, cross stitch, silicon or neon. Co-director of the gallery Joanna Strumpf gave BRAG a heads up on what to expect over the busy 12 months ahead.
If you’ve never visited Sullivan+Strumpf, February is an excellent time to start. “We always open the year with a group exhibition” says Strumpf, “and that will be something new, usually, by all of the artists that we represent.” This fun and eclectic collection of works by the gallery’s 23 artists and is “a really good way for people to get a feeling about who it is that we show and look at what work artists are currently up to”.
In March, an exhibition called Video will assemble a collection of video works by several artists, including one created by Darren Sylvester for the Self-Portrait Prize at the University of Queensland. Strumpf describes Sylvester’s work as “a memoir through medium. It doesn’t involve Darren but it’s really the story of his life and his work.” Sylvester will also have a solo show at the gallery in June, which gallery-goers will find particularly exciting as it’ll be the artist’s first commercial exhibition in over two years.
In April, conceptual artist Michael Lindeman will continue his exploration of letters. “A lot of people saw the letter to the trustees that had had at the Archibald Prize this year,” says Strumpf. “An oversized painting of a foolscap piece of paper with a handwritten letter, so there’ll be several of those letters.” Another concept Lindeman is working on is ‘notes to self’ wherein the artist paints post-it notes sporting idiosyncratic notes. This playfulness will continue in the upstairs gallery where Leah Emery will explore “ideas of femininity through the unlikely idea of pornographic cross stitch”.
In May, the Japanese-born Australian artist Hiromi Tango will have her Sullivan+Strumpf debut. “[Tango] works in lots of different mediums including performance and photography, but this body of work will involve neon and woven cloth. She manages to involve the community in her artworks and these are beautiful and very personal examinations,” says Strumpf.
Mid-year, in July, Alasdair Macintyre will visualise “the history of art told through storm troopers”. In August, emerging artist Greg Hodge – whose first show with Sullivan+Strumpf this year completely sold out –will present his second solo exhibition. According to Strumpf, Hodge’s central artistic agenda centres on illusion. “Hodge’s kaleidoscopic paintings are really copies of paper collages which he makes, yet there’s no actual collage involved. Instead, he uses the idea of trompe l’oeiul, or trick of the eye.” The following month, Alex Seton will display his marble works, which address the plight of asylum seekers.
In October, the gallery will showcase the lyrical paintings of Karen Black. “[Black] works predominantly in the colours of yellow, blue and red, and mixes the work directly onto the board, which makes for immediate and experimental imagery,” says Strumpf. Upstairs, Sam Jinks will exhibit a small collection of his hyper-realistic sculptures made of silicon that often use human hair. “These are sculptures that can take us to a different place all together,” says Strumpf.
Sullivan+Strumpf’s 2014 program will draw to a close with eX de Medici’s “extremely beautiful, but aggressive watercolours”. The artist’s seven-metre long work reflects her tattooing background and is, according to Strumpf, “an extraordinary, highly detailed feat [that] interweaves into its decorative design the logos or corporate greed such as oil and banking companies.”
BY KATE ROBERTSON
Sullivan+Strumpf 2014 Season at 799 Elizabeth St, Zetland.