Art + Australia re-launched by artist Bill Henson

November 16 / 188

Photo: Faculty of the MCM & VCA
Photo: Faculty of the MCM & VCA

Australia’s premier art journal, Art + Australia, was launched in a new print format by celebrated Australian artist Bill Henson late last month.

It was the first edition under editor-in-chief and Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Professor Su Baker, after it was gifted to the VCA in 2015 by former editor and publisher, Eleonora Triguboff, who wanted to ensure the publication would continue to inspire and educate.

Professor Baker said she was delighted that Henson would be re-launching the biannual journal.

“Bill Henson graduated from the VCA in 1983 and was featured on the cover of Art + Australia in 2005, so it’s especially pleasing to have him on board,” she said. 

“We’re excited to be continuing the heritage of this esteemed journal, and for it to be associated with Australia’s leading art school, which celebrates its 150-year anniversary in 2017. We look forward to ongoing engagement with the critical issues in art and arts criticism.”

The latest edition, Art + Australia – Issue Zero (Recomposite) – has been produced under the editorship of Dr Edward Colless, renowned arts writer and Head of Critical and Theoretical Studies at the VCA.

It revisits the first issue of Art + Australia in 1963 from the perspective of present-day arts practice and critical writing.

Dr Colless said a dozen writers of varying ages, artistic interests and professional expertise were each sent fragments of the 1963 issue of the journal, as if they were enigmatic artifacts. 

“The writers’ responses were then re-mixed with the original texts for the new issue. 

“The content and style are engaging, provocative and innovative: the coordinates for the future of the journal,” he said.

In print since 1963 – and before that, published from 1916 as Art in Australia – the magazine is the country’s longest-running art journal and has played a significant role in the documentation of Australia’s art history. 

Professor Baker and Dr Colless join a list of distinguished editors and advisors such as James Gleeson, John Olsen, John Brack, Ursula Hoff, Daniel Thomas, Sasha Grishin and Deborah Hart.

Art + Australia will also present Minefield, the inaugural publication from its new small book imprint, A+a Publishing, which deals with a controversial 1973 work by experimental Australian artist Tim Burns.

Minefield is the first of a new, ongoing series of books providing an in-depth consideration of a major work of art.

Art + Australia's new online platform, A+A Online, was also launched in October. A+A Online allows for immediate and thoughtful responses to contemporary art issues, and will provide expanded opportunities for emerging and established writers.

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