Australian Identities at the Icebox

Asked to respond to the show’s title, Australia Felix, the seventeen artists currently on view at the Crane Icebox present work that reflects aspects of their Australian identity. Organized by curator Ross Woodrow, the exhibition is a response to one of the earliest, major exhibitions of contemporary Australian art in the United States, the Guggenheim’s Australian Visions from 1984. In an attempt to present a more diverse group of Australian artists, the show includes more women, artists from indigenous backgrounds, and work in a variety of mediums. The result is an Australian identity that remains in flux and indefinable. On view until August 28, the show reveals shared anxieties about Australia’s problematic cultural history.

Donna Marcus’ “Code” is made up of a grid of kitchen cooking vessels whose markings become as indecipherable as a foreign alphabet. The work alludes to cultural differences and the traces left by technology.

Ian Burn’s sculpture “What Might Be” celebrates the fleeting moment. Light is refracted through magnifying glasses to create flickering dashes of light on the wall. Eventually, the message “As Though Found” appears, but it just as quickly disappears again.

With a run-on of like-sounding words, Gordon Hookey’s “Conject Jar” reveals the confusion and lack of understanding that perpetuates racism and sexism. The figures in each scene of the large panel are blinded by national identities and only alien beings can recognize their foolishness.

With an interest in text and image, Jenny Watson’s paintings have a childlike style and seem like an attempt to make sense of the world’s peculiarities.

Judy Watson’s work incorporates traditional indigenous symbols to create large-scale compositions with immediacy.

Madeleine Kelly’s paintings have a quality of other-worldliness, with flashes of color and ghosted animals that resemble spirits.

Mostyn Bramley-Moore’s abstract paintings are dark and foreboding. With built-up layers of paint, the work portrays confrontation, and the artist’s use of spiraling mark-marking suggests a frenetic energy and chaos.

Angela Blakely and David Lloyd look at the difficulty of the lives of Australian children and their attempts to cope by huffing paint.

Other artists include Bill Platz, Debra Porch, Jay Younger, Jennifer Herd, Julie Fragar, Marian Drew, Pat Hoffie, and Sebastian Di Mauro.

Yixuan Pan
Yixuan Pan
Angela McQuillan is an Artist and Curator. Her artwork is influenced by biological forms, anatomical subjects and bodily functions.
Angela McQuillan
Angela McQuillan

Angela McQuillan is an Artist and Curator. Her artwork is influenced by biological forms, anatomical subjects and bodily…

Angela McQuillan is an Artist and Curator. Her artwork is influenced by biological forms, anatomical subjects and bodily functions.…

Angela McQuillan is an Artist and Curator. Her artwork is influenced by biological forms, anatomical subjects and bodily functions.…

Gail Morrison-Hall finds inspiration in old buildings, Victorian Gingerbread architecture, a city or country she's traveled to, medieval manuscripts, the colors and patterns in the natural world, a quote, phrase, a question or a concept.
Gail Morrison-Hall
Gail Morrison-Hall

Gail Morrison-Hall finds inspiration in old buildings, Victorian Gingerbread architecture, a city or country she's traveled…

Gail Morrison-Hall finds inspiration in old buildings, Victorian Gingerbread architecture, a city or country she's traveled to, medieval manuscripts, the colors and patterns in the natural world, a quote,…

Gail Morrison-Hall finds inspiration in old buildings, Victorian Gingerbread architecture, a city or country she's traveled to, medieval manuscripts, the colors and patterns in the natural world, a quote, phrase, a question…

Diane Szczepaniak
Diane Szczepaniak
Carol Taylor-Kearney creates mixed media paintings and sculptures that are vibrant in color, adventurous in the mediums used, and playful in the open-ended stories or puzzles she presents.  Based on recognizable people, places, and circumstances, she adds a bit of imagination to collected debris to create worlds to touch and to visit.  Often, she takes advantage of combining real-life observations with art history and literature, and the subjectivity of time.  Taylor-Kearney wants observers to feel that they can find something new every time they experience the artwork.
Carol Taylor-Kearney
Carol Taylor-Kearney

Carol Taylor-Kearney creates mixed media paintings and sculptures that are vibrant in color, adventurous in the mediums used,…

Carol Taylor-Kearney creates mixed media paintings and sculptures that are vibrant in color, adventurous in the mediums used, and playful in the open-ended stories or puzzles she presents. Based on recognizable…

Carol Taylor-Kearney creates mixed media paintings and sculptures that are vibrant in color, adventurous in the mediums used, and playful in the open-ended stories or puzzles she presents. Based on recognizable people, places,…

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