Sydney Contemporary brings fresh works in 2019

Your first look at the galleries and artists showing at Australia’s largest annual art fair.

Words: Stella Martino

For the 2019 selection committee for this year’s Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, everyone seems to have the same goal: new, fresh, exciting and dynamic.

“There are many layers to a fair,” says selection committee member and co-director of Sullivan+Strumpf, Ursula Sullivan. “Our job is to think through those layers, find the interesting and dynamic galleries, and understand the bigger picture of the fair as a whole.” Showing at the Sullivan+Strumpf stand this year are artists Yang Yongliang, Greg Hodge and Karen Black as well as Ry David Bradley, who presents his debut with the Sydney and Singapore galleries at the fair.

Of the selection, committee member and Sydney gallerist Roslyn Oxley adds: “We pick the galleries who are showing interesting art and the ones that have a flair for presentation. Presentation is quite important.” Selection committee member John McCormack agrees: “Sydney Contemporary must perform its market-driven role as an art fair, but also open up a space between the art museum and the art market where galleries can present exhibitions and projects aimed at curators and exhibition-makers, as well as collectors.” Laith McGregor, Fiona Pardington and Michael Zavros are amongst the artists presented at McCormack’s Auckland gallery Starkwhite’s booth this year.

In a similar vein, Singapore’s Yavuz Gallery founder and selection committee member Can Yavuz looked for galleries that brought something new and exciting to the fair. “It is important that these galleries have a differentiating and consistent program within their respective countries.” This year’s edition sees Yavuz showcase work by Australian and New Zealand artists Abdul Abdullah, André Hemer, Euan Macleod and Caroline Rothwell alongside leading Southeast Asian artists like Pinaree Sanpitak (Thailand), Yeo Kaa (Philippines) and Alvin Ong (Singapore). “We wanted to tease out the relationship between these two regions, looking at their varied connections and similarities.”

Yavuz joins an impressive list of international galleries showing at this year’s fair including Flowers Gallery (London and New York), Whitestone Gallery (Hong Kong, Nagano, Taipei and Tokyo), Sundaram Tagore Gallery (New York, Singapore and Hong Kong) and Nil Gallery (Paris).

This year’s fair once again comprises three major sectors that each bring something different to the industrial halls of Carriageworks. The main sector, Galleries, provides a significant platform for solo or group exhibitions by leading galleries from across the globe. Paper Contemporary, in association with The Print Council of Australia Inc, will showcase the best contemporary printmaking and works on paper on a national and international level (at an often very accessible price).

An exciting sector of the fair, Future, presents a driving platform for young galleries presenting solo or duo exhibitions. The sector is also open to established galleries wishing to support an emerging artist. Established Adelaide gallerist Paul Greenaway takes a stand in Future with a new series the works by Pierre Mukeba, following a highly successful solo presentation of the emerging artist’s work at last year’s Melbourne Art Fair. Hobart gallerist Michael Bugelli will show new work by artist Henri Pappin. 

Other gallery highlights announced so far include a major solo exhibition of work by Tiger Yaltangki at Melbourne’s Alcaston Gallery, a group show of stable artists alongside new work by Turkish painter Kemal Seyhan and Los Angeles painter Liat Yossifor at Fox Jensen, Sydney and Fox Jensen McCrory, Auckland, as well as new works by Emma Finneran, Addison Marshall, Harley Ives, Nathan Hawkes and Mathew McWilliams at Sydney’s Chalk Horse.

Melbourne’s Tolarno Galleries comes to the fair this year a solo show by new stable artist Amos Gebhardt. The series, titled Night horse, examines the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season.

Adelaide’s Hugo Michell Gallery presents a selection of fresh work by stable artists Trent Parke, Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga, among others. These will be shown alongside the final body of work created by the late Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra, a series of towering Larrakitj (memorial poles) that is sure to bring that freshness, excitement and dynamism that seems to be shaping this year’s iteration.

For a full gallery list visit: sydneycontemporary.com.au/galleries

Image: Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra, Larrakitj. Courtesy: Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide. Photo: Tim Acker.

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