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"Avant-gardism fo Children"
2000-03-02 until 2000-04-20
Monash University Gallery
Clayton, , AU Australia

Artists Talks with Elizabeth Gower and Robert Rooney, Tuesday 14 March 1.30pm The exhibition brings together the work of ten contemporary artists whose various practices feature concerns that have an affinity with kindergarten/nursery activities. avant-gardism for children is not a celebration of childrens or na´ve art. It is concerned with teasing out further possibilities of spontaneous and improvisational artmaking whilst extending notions of modernist abstraction. The works in this exhibition utilise materials and methods which are both familiar and forgotten. Recycled household goods and play room materials abound. The artists have sought to couple childlike playfulness with adult know how and sensibilities to create thoughtful and engaging images which appeal to a broad range of audiences.

avant-gardism for children is not a celebration of childrens or na´ve art. It is concerned with teasing out further possibilities of spontaneous and improvisational artmaking whilst extending notions of modernist abstraction.

The works in this exhibition utilise materials and methods which are both familiar and forgotten. Recycled household goods and play room materials abound. The artists have sought to couple childlike playfulness with adult know how and sensibilities to create thoughtful and engaging images which appeal to a broad range of audiences.

Mikala Dwyers Pipe seems to parallel the gentle, less frenetic aspects of childrens activities. Its delicate organza tubes, anchored by modeling clay, hang at different lengths over a small sea of severed, partial limbs of teddy bears.

Kathy Temins Arrange Your Own Room No. 6 constructed of felt on felt and plastic wrap appears to revel in its unprofessional finish and parodies the highly finished modular design which it replicates.

Built in collaboration with his five year old son and three year old daughter, Michael Phillips untitled construction is made from secondhand educational toys similar to those used by the Queensland education department.

The objective of fitting all the composition elements into a requisite rectangle becomes its own abstract composition in Kelloggs Sugar Frosties Jumble animals (camel) circa 1960s by Robert Rooney. The childlike process of cutting out from the back of cereal packet invokes the artistic anti-formalism of the 1960s.

Other artists in the exhibition include Catherine Brown, Elizabeth Gower, Pip Haydon, Elizabeth Newman, John Nixon, Paul Saint.

Robert Rooney
Kellogs Sugar Frosties:
Jumble animals (camel) circa 1960s 1999
inkjet on photographic paper
24.7 x 17.8
Collection of the artist


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