Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 and under. With a reputation for uncovering new artistic talent, in 2016 Primavera will celebrate its 25th anniversary, a significant milestone for one of the Museum’s iconic programs. Since 1992, the Primavera series has showcased the works of artists and curators in the early stages of their career, many of whom – such as Shaun Gladwell, Mikala Dwyer, Rebecca Baumann, Jonathan Jones and Jess Johnson – have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally.
Since 2001 Emily Cormack has curated and co-curated over 25 exhibitions in institutional, freelance and artist-run contexts throughout the Asia Pacific region as well as in Europe. These projects include the exhibitions Everyday Rebellions, Gertrude Contemporary (2013), City Within the City, Art Sonje, Seoul and Gertrude Contemporary (2011–12), 21:100:100: 100 sound works by one hundred sound artists from the 21st Century, Gertrude Contemporary (2010), Still Vast Reserves, Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Rome, and Gertrude Contemporary (2009–10), and The Independence Project, Galerei Petronas, Kuala Lumpur (2007).
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, commented: “We are thrilled to announce Emily Cormack as the Curator for our 25th edition of Primavera. She has extensive experience working with young artists on the cusp of their career, and we’re looking forward to working with her to present the artwork of a new set of young Australian artists to our audiences in 2016.”
Emily Cormack regularly writes for artists’ catalogues and periodicals including Frieze magazine (UK), Art Agenda (USA), Art Asia Pacific, Art and Australia (ARTAND) and Kaleidoscope (It) magazine. She has worked as curator at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, the Adam Art Gallery, Wellington (NZ) and as Co-Founder and Co-Director of Conical ARI, Melbourne. In 2005, she managed the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 2003 she undertook a curatorial internship at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, NZ and a Master of Art Curatorship from The University of Melbourne. She is currently a PhD candidate in Curatorial Practice at Monash University.
Emily Cormack, commented on the appointment: “After nearly a decade working with artists in the early stages of their career I understand the impact an exhibition such as Primavera can have on a younger artists’ creative trajectory, and it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to be part of this process. Often it is at these crucial times in an artist’s career where significant experimentation occurs, and I look forward to working with artists to illuminate these exciting new ways of thinking, and presenting them to the MCA’s diverse audiences.”
Primavera is an annual exhibition for young Australian artists aged 35 years and under. It 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. The exhibition commemorates Belinda Jackson by celebrating the creative achievements of talented young artists who are in the early stages of their careers.