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Primavera 2009: Young Australian Artists

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


10 Sep 2009 to 22 Nov 2009


Andy Best, Christine Eid, Michaela Gleave, Christopher LG Hill, Ross Manning, Wade Marynowsky, spat+loogie (Kat Barron and Lara Thoms), Roderick Sprigg

Guest Curator: Jeff Khan

about the exhibition

The guest curator for Primavera 2009 was Jeff Khan, then a Melbourne-based curator and writer and Artistic Director of Next Wave, a biennial festival and artist development organisation.

Primavera 2009 brought together seven young contemporary artists and one artist collaboration who employed interdisciplinary or expanded forms of practice. Proposing bold new visions for our engagement with the world at large, the exhibiting artists sought to create alternative systems of meaning and value—alternative worlds—for us to consider.

The exhibition included work by Andy Best, Christine Eid, Michaela Gleave, Christopher LG Hill, Ross Manning, Wade Marynowsky, spat+loogie (Kat Barron and Lara Thoms) and Roderick Sprigg. These artists take diverse formal and conceptual positions, yet their approach to art is united by an adventurous spirit of enquiry and an interest in connecting the process of art making with other social and cultural practices.

Some of the exhibiting artists collaborated with others in the process of making their work. Christopher LG Hill’s installation featured contributions from several other artists, building a captivating and curious web of material and meaning. Wade Marynowsky and Christine Eid documented and responded to particular communities, albeit in strikingly different ways. By contrast, Andy Best’s work combined real and imaginary collaborators in the construction of a semi-fictional artist colony called Oom.

The use of unconventional materials also played an important role in many works, from Ross Manning’s playful dissection of consumer technologies and discarded junk, to Roderick Sprigg’s use of farming equipment as a sculptural unit. Other works sought to mobilise the general public as active participants. In the case of spat+loogie and Michaela Gleave, the viewer’s presence and participation was key to the works’ realisation.

The works presented in Primavera 2009 represented an outward-looking and optimistic view of contemporary art and the role it plays in a broader cultural fabric. The artists’ generous approach to process and presentation was an invitation for us to engage with this rich field of creative enquiry.

Primavera 2009 was sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

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.

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