Anniversaries are strange things. Many of you must have been faced with the dilemma of how to mark a significant event. Even discussing possibilities is fraught with discomfort – how does one respond properly to the importance of the occasion? I am always astonished by the efforts people go to commemorate a phase in life, whatever it might be. Some of those responses are expressed in this, your 10th anniversary issue of Artist Profile.
We were delighted with the 8 July launch of Artist Profile: Australasian Painters 2007 – 2017 at the Orange Regional Gallery in Central Western NSW. I want to note the generosity of all involved, particularly of my co-curator, Lucy Stranger, and the artists, dealers and collectors who helped us to bring our 10th anniversary show to a realisation. The remarkable calmness of Brad Hammond with his team at the Orange Regional Gallery facing such a big undertaking has been memorable. Regular reports from Brad tell us that many Orange locals are revisiting the exhibition and wanting to know more about the artists they have discovered.
The journey to this 10th anniversary belongs to the founders of Artist Profile, artist Steve Lopes and writer Paul Flynn, who took the plunge with a vision for an arts magazine that would capture the artist behind the scene with passion. Along the way they have inspired many artists, writers and the Artist Profile editors, Owen Craven and me.
To mark the first stage of our next 10-year journey we have invited Patricia Piccinini to be our issue 40 cover artist. In my introduction to our interview, I wrote that Patricia “divides opinions” with her hybrid objects, particularly her commitment to dispelling purity and borders. After 20 years of practice she is undoubtedly, alongside Tracey Moffatt and Ron Mueck, one of her generation’s most internationally famous Australian artists. Yet she has retained her studio in North Melbourne to develop her art with a dogged commitment, a journey she has herself devised, and that is inspiring.
Before Hilarie Mais’s 10-year survey (2007 – 2017) at the Museum of Contemporary Art: Australia (MCA), I discussed with her the journey from her home in Leeds to New York, why Sydney eventually became her home, and why leaving and returning to Australia is important to challenging her painted constructions.
Khadim Ali’s journey has been extraordinary: an artist whose family’s ethnicity forced them to flee central Afghanistan to live in Pakistan, until they eventually came to live in Australia. His artistic journey led to him representing Australia in dOCUMENTA 13. Of the many unbelievable moments in Michael Young’s article on Khadim’s life, the most potent for me is Khadim’s research in a Kabul library.
Jun Chen’s story, by Louise Martin-Chew, tracks his journey to becoming an artist across China’s Cultural Revolution, to Tiananmen Square, eventually to devoting all his time to being a painter in Brisbane. Many felt his portrait of close friend and prominent art dealer Ray Hughes should have been awarded the 2017 Archibald Prize.
These and many other journeys are featured in this issue.
PATRICIA PICCININI by Kon Gouriotis
ISSUE Regional Galleries in Crisis by John McDonald
NICHOLAS OSMOND by Lucy Stranger
CHARMAINE PIKE by Melissa Pesa
GEOFFREY DE GROEN by Paul McGillick
NEIL FRAZER by Bridget Macleod
HILARIE MAIS by Kon Gouriotis
JUN CHEN by Louise Martin-Chew
ASHER BILU by Ashley Crawford
COEN YOUNG by Kon Gouriotis
KHADIM ALI by Michael Young
RODNEY POPLE by Anna Johnson
JELLE VAN DEN BERG by Lucy Stranger
Eulogy: Leonard French, by Jan Senbergs
Project: Lucy O’Doherty in Paris
Archive: Pat Larter, by Jane Naylor
Process: Amber Boardman
Process: Meaghan Potter
Review: Star Gossage, by Lucy Stranger
Book review: Culture Heist, by Judith White, reviewed by Judith Pugh
Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, by Lucy Stranger
Discovery: Mark Tweedie