– Highlights

highlight
Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

highlight
Exhibition

Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

highlight
Exhibition

Hilarie Mais

23 Aug - 19 Nov

– Learning Events

highlight
Event

Engaging Students with disability

18 Aug, 9.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Workshop

Art Safari

25 Aug, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Special Event

ARTBAR August 2017

25 Aug, 7.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Claudia Nicholson's ARTBAR of love and devotion

July’s ARTBAR will see the MCA turned into an elaborate quinceañera by this month’s curator, Claudia Nicholson. more

#ConversationStarters: Have you ever made a decision based on fear?

We held a new program of art and ideas, Conversation Starters, in June to promote an open conversation with questions that define our global situation. more

#ConversationStarters: What are you afraid of for the future?

We held a new program of art and ideas, Conversation Starters, in June to promote an open conversation with questions that define our global situation. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

highlight
Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

highlight
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