Model Pictures at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

February 11 / 54

Disaster of the month (January), 2007. Oil on canvas, 76 x 101 cm. Private collection, Melbourne. © Courtesy the artist
Disaster of the month (January), 2007. Oil on canvas, 76 x 101 cm. Private collection, Melbourne. © Courtesy the artist

The Model Pictures exhibition, at the Ian Potter Museum of Art from 23 February - 15 May, will feature four Melbourne-based artists who use constructed models or tableaux as integral parts of their painting process.

The exhibition will feature works from 1990 - 2010 by Moya McKenna, James Lynch, Amanda Marburg and Rob McHaffie.

All four artists graduated from the VCA between 1996 and 2002 and use painting as a diagnostic tool.

They experiment with their immediate environment and with ideas of scale and pictorial space, analysing the character of painting and the problem of its ‘autonomy’.

Model pictures tracks these artists’ approach to modelling the world around us, which has built a new direction for contemporary painting in Melbourne over the last decade.

The exhibition examines the historical significance of these initiatives as well as each artist’s different work methods, involving constructed tabletop tableaux, plasticine models, mannequins and studio still lifes.

Curator Bala Starr says Model Pictures seeks to establish new and more robust critical and historical terms for the interpretation of this particularly Australian practice.

“The strategy of using constructed models or tableaux has become something of a hallmark of contemporary Australian practice, with artists such as Ricky Swallow, Patricia Piccinini and Callum Morton achieving international recognition,” she said.

“The dominant interpretative model—revolving around repetition and simulation as expressing scepticism towards representation—was established early and elaborated upon little. This exhibition will explore interpretations of the practice from a critical and historical perspective.”

The Model Pictures exhibition is part of a series at the Potter which brings together artists of different generations to explore a theme, style or premise relating to artistic and critical practice.

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