Walking Women – Standing Monash by Clive Murray-White

Back from our winter break and opening our new exhibition season this weekend with 
Walking Women – Standing Monash by Clive Murray-White
Exhibition Opening Event - Sunday 17 August 2-5pm
Dates: 1 August - 29 September 2014

This installation is based on the absurd idea of a group of sculptures visiting a museum of modern art.  These are the “Walking Women”, striding enthusiastically towards a contemporary statue of Sir John Monash, another sculpture looks at an artwork on the wall.  Next to that is a painting which could easily be a portrait of the gallery visiting sculpture. Whilst another fabricated gallery visitor has lost interest in the art altogether and is contemplating a coffee.
The Museum of Modern Art exhibition is typically impersonal and purposely obscure; included in the installation is the very famous but decaying Mario Merz, 1979 “Like a tree – from the numbers of Fibonacci”, a minimalist or maybe quasi Tantric red face portrait and a suite of framed “Large Claude Glass” black paintings that are actually impossible to see because they are so reflective that they mirror and distort everything.

The Claude glass is named after the French landscape painter Claude Lorrain, 1600-1682, who used them extensively. They were small pocket sized, black or darkly coloured, slightly distorting mirrors, set in cases that could be opened like a book; painters often used them because they framed, simplified and altered visual information in ways that people of the time found very engaging. They became very popular with wealthy tourists in the 18th and 19th centuries who liked to turn their backs on a scene and view it on their Claude glass that had captured and rendered it artistically. These early analogue iPhone “Instagrams” needed no batteries and worked perfectly for hundreds of years!

Mario Merz, 1925 – 2008, was a major Italian figure in the Arte Povera movement, his work combines a fascination with the material and metaphorical qualities of natural objects with ideas regarding infinity and repetition. Much of his work was based around the Fibonacci sequence, a formula often used to express mathematical sequences in nature. 
This is an exhibition in which the spectator becomes a participant in the art; it both pokes fun at and defers to art and art history.