– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

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Exhibition

The National 2017

30 Mar - 18 Jun

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Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

– Learning Events

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Tour

Art Baby

04 May, 10.30am, MCA

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Event

WORKSHOP FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS

12 May, 9.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Event

MCA Zine Fair 2017

21 May, 10.30am, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Young Art Lovers' Book List

To celebrate World Book Day (Sunday 23 April) the MCA Store and MCA Learning crew have teamed up to put together a selection of fun, inspiring and engaging titles sure to spark the imaginations of budding artists and creative thinkers. more

From the archives: Curious catalogue

Never judge a book by its cover? In this issue of our monthly archive series, MCA Archives and Records Management Coordinator, Stephanie, leafs through some unusual pages more

Girl On Film: Erin Coates

The National 2017: New Australian Art artist Erin Coates gets in the driving seat for our April film experience 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