Ian Potter Museum celebrates works of Piranesi and VCA alumni

February 14 / 129

Mira Gojak
Blinded 1 2013
pen, fibre-tipped pen, gouache and watercolour on paper
50 x 50 cm
© Courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne
Mira Gojak Blinded 1 2013 pen, fibre-tipped pen, gouache and watercolour on paper 50 x 50 cm © Courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne

The Ian Potter Museum of Art has brought together the works of the extraordinary 18th century Italian printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi with seven contemporary artists, including four VCA alumni, in an exhibition called ‘The Piranesi Effect’.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was a printmaker, architect and influential revolutionary designer, whose images of ruined temples and imaginary prisons appealed to artists and writers from Thomas De Quincy to Jorge Luis Borges.

The exhibition is part of a series of events, including a symposium celebrating the visionary achievements of Piranesi run by the University in conjunction with the Baillieu Library and the State Library of Victoria.

The Piranesi Effect features the works of seven contemporary artists and Roman and Etruscan antiquities, as a guide to understanding Piranesi.

Contemporary artists included in the exhibition are Rick Amor, Mira Gojak, Andrew Hazewinkel and Simon Terrill. Other artists included are Michael Graf, Peter Robinson and Jan Senbergs. 

The contemporary works were chosen because elements of those works showed how Piranesi’s images achieved a particular, discordant effect on the viewer.

Guest curator, Ms Jenny Long, said the 21st century artists jolt viewers into seeing Piranesi in a new way.

“The Piranesi works enrich our reaction to the contemporary works,” she said. 

“Elements in Piranesi’s darkly energetic prints resonate with the dynamic baroque lines of Mira Gojak, the dramatic use of viewpoint by Simon Terrill or aspects of scale in the works by Peter Robinson.”

The Piranesi Effect runs from 20 February to 25 May.

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