Thanks partially, to his success at last December's Florence Biennale, John Dahlsen is one of many Australian contemporary artists who are
creating a new wave of international interest in Australian artists. This is fuelled by the fact that many artists are out there
avidly exploring international markets within which to exhibit and sell their art.
Dahlsen said, "For the past year I have been exploring overseas markets in Europe and the USA and was fortunate that my invitation to exhibit at
the Florence Biennale, gave me the major kudos I needed to be invited to
exhibit in New York. This also set me up for my forthcoming exhibition
in Milano, which opens on the 4th of May at the D‚Ars Studio for
Contemporary Arts. In fact the D'Ars International Exhibition Service, based in Milan, who
secured me for the New York and Milano exhibitions said they are
predicting an excited response to my show in Milan. The fact that Milan
is seen as the commercial centre of art in Italy and one of the biggest
commercial centres of art in Europe for that matter, really helps get my
art out there."
Patricia Piccinini is another Australian artist who has been profiled
by D'Ars. In one of their most recent arts publication, they featured a
lengthy article and review on Piccinini's work at the 2003 Venice
Biennale and her work featured on the front cover of the glossy
publication, so it seems Australian artists are being treated with real
enthusiasm by the Italians which bodes well‚
John T Spike, director of the Florence Biennale, who gave Dahlsen's work
at the 2003 Biennale very positive reviews, also attended his exhibition
in New York. Based on this Mr Spike is now writing a lengthy critique
of Dahlsen's New York show in the summer edition of Art and Antiques.
"If it is favourable, this will be of major significance to my work in
the international arena." Said Dahlsen "Mr Spike will also be
attending my Milano exhibition at the D'Ars Studio, which will all help
to increasing my profile really well in Europe and in the US."
"Aside from all this, the reality of dealing with international shows is
not for the faint hearted", said Dahlsen. "Understanding what you have to
deal with, in order to export your work for international sales and
exhibition takes serious consideration."
"For my first major solo show in New York at the beginning of February,
I literally had 6 weeks to pack up a large amount of artwork at my
studio in Byron Bay, after returning from Florence, and work my way
through all the details and red tape of sending it to an international
destination." Dahlsen continued,
"As with any art exhibition, the amount of anticipated sales for a
forthcoming show is always an unknown quantity, so the financial
commitment to send work to international locations is a major decision.
Apart from agents fees and gallery costs charged to the artist, and
unlike works on canvas, which can be rolled and re-framed at their
destination, the transportation of artwork like mine, which includes
assemblages and sculptures, has to be carefully and securely crated for
the long haul. The crating for my artwork alone was very costly, not to
mention the cost of airfreighting. My first consignment to New York was
just over 1000 kgs and it was a complicated and involved process to
achieve the right price with reliable service, from the various freight
companies who quoted."
"The good news is that now I have done the serious hard yards, quite a
few of my costs to set up an export market for my work can be
redeemable. I am now in a position to put in an application for an
export development grant." said Dahlsen. "The local regional arts
development officer, Lois Randall from Arts Northern Rivers, was very
helpful in putting me in touch with the right Austrade department to
assist me in applying for this grant. Artists are serviced by Austrade
like any other manufacturer of an exportable product and they provide
most of the specific information required by artists to ship their
"I am looking forward to heading off to Milano, to get a further insight
into how the European art market will respond to my work and hopefully
have a bit of a break. When I return to Australia I will be finalising
negotiations for a major sculpture commission planned for a prominent
location in Sydney‚"
John Dahlsen's solo exhibition in Italy will open on May 4th at Via Sant Agnese, 3 Milano.
Visit John"s work on www.johndahlsen.com Copies of John"s book "Survey"
are available to purchase from his website.
Blue Rope (Triptych)
Contemporary environmental art wall work, made from found plastic objects, assembled behind perspex. Abstract recycled art created from plastics collected from Australian beaches
165 cm. (h) x 44 cm.(w) each