– Highlights

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Exhibition

Tatsuo Miyajima

03 Nov - 05 Mar

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug

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Exhibition

Primavera at 25: MCA Collection

19 Dec - 19 Mar

– Learning Events

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Workshop

Lights On Later

15 Dec, 6.00pm, Level 3: Creative Studios in NCCL

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Workshop

Understanding Mindfulness Workshop

28 Jan, 12.30pm, Level 2: Seminar Room

– News from inside the MCA

Interview with December film curator Kiki Fung

James Vaughan and Jeremy Elphick speak to the Head Programmer for Australia’s Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, Kiki Fung about the month of contemporary cinema she has guest curated for the MCA. more

Twitter tour: Rachel Kent on #TatsuoMiyajima

Chief Curator Rachel walks us through her exhibition highlights more

What's it like to view art in the nude?

Gill Nicol, Director, Audience Engagement, reveals her experience of stripping down and gaining a new perspective of the MCA Collection by viewing it entirely in the nude. 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.

Ken Whisson: As If

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

28 Sep 2012 to 25 Nov 2012

Co-Curators: Glenn Barkley (MCA) & Lesley Harding (Heide Museum of Modern Art)

About the exhibition

In a career spanning over sixty years, Ken Whisson has been making thoughtful and uncompromising artworks which hold a unique place in Australian art. Whisson’s reputation has been built around his tenacious dedication to the acts of painting and drawing, and he has a persistent fascination with the delicate operations of both his inner reality and the world at large.

Ken Whisson was born in 1927 in Lilydale, outside Melbourne. He studied under Russian émigré artist Danila Vassilieff (1897–1958) in the 1940s, and emerged out of the influential school of figurative expressionism. Whisson’s imagery has since evolved to combine the tendencies of his formative years with an increasingly linear and graphic abstraction. Following his relocation to the Italian city of Perugia in the late 1970s, the ideas and experiences of displacement and memory have helped elaborate his enduring engagements with landscape, identity and politics. He has forged an unconventional and highly personal aesthetic which sees topographical and single-point perspectives coalesce, and imagery that often suggests a heightened, sometimes hallucinogenic reality.

The artist’s title for this retrospective derived from Immanuel Kant’s dictum: ‘May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law’, and the Paris Surrealists’ declaration: ‘Let us live as if the world really exists’. The exhibition traced the evolution of Whisson’s major themes and series, from his powerful portrayals of human relations to those which consider the relationships people and animals have with the natural, built and cultural environments.

Ken Whisson: As If was produced in partnership with Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and exhibited from 17 March – 15 July 2012.

I believe that the reason for making art is that it gives to the world, not just to human beings, some more profound dimension, something nearer to the reality that we feel it surely must have, but does not seem to have.

Ken Whisson, 2002

In the Shop