Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
12 Dec 2013 to 23 Feb 2014
Ian Abdulla, Marina Abramović, Khadim Ali, Howard Arkley, Benjamin Armstrong, Stephen Birch, Peter Booth, Pat Brassington, Lauren Brincat, Juan Davila, Phillip Faulks, Nicholas Folland, Hayden Fowler, Rosalie Gascoigne, Simryn Gill, Shaun Gladwell, Newell Harry, Fiona Lowry, Tracey Moffatt, Dorothy Napangardi, Mike Parr, Gloria Petyarre, Imants Tillers, Walala Tjapaltjarri, Ulay, Louise Weaver, Emma White, Judith Wright
Anna Davis & Megan Robson
New Acquisitions in Context 2013 continued the MCA tradition of exhibiting recently acquired works in dialogue with existing artworks from the JW Power and MCA Collections. The exhibition showcased works by 28 emerging and established artists from across the country, and for the first time was presented across both of the MCA’s Level 1 Galleries, with works shown in the expansive Level 1 North Gallery as well as the more intimate spaces of Level 1 South.
Celebrating the diversity of art making in Australia, New Acquisitions in Context 2013 included a range of media from painting and photography through to installation and moving image. The exhibition drew together multiple themes and ideas through a collection of very different artworks, however a number of key concerns emerged within the exhibition including an exploration of landscape in its various forms, real and imagined, sacred and suburban. Works by Imants Tillers, Judith Wright, Simryn Gill, Fiona Lowry and Mike Parr all considered ideas surrounding the environment and its manifestation within contemporary life in very different ways. Another key theme that ran throughout the exhibition was an investigation of dream states, nightmares and the influence of Surrealism in works by Benjamin Armstrong and Stephen Birch.
Additionally, works by a number of artists such as Khadim Ali and Dorothy Napangardi considered how both the sacred and the body are represented across different cultures and forms. Drawing on the physicality of the works themselves, an exploration of the medium of collage, light and painting were also considered in unique ways by artists such as Juan Davila, Nicholas Folland and Emma White.
A number of works featured in New Acquisitions in Context 2013 had been acquired through the newly established MCA Foundation. Funds raised by the MCA Foundation directly support the acquisition and commission of artworks for the MCA Collection, enabling the Museum to continue to support and acquire works by Australian artists.