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.

Liz Goldberg

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University.…

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University…

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University in Philadelphia.…

Jacqueline Unanue

Jacqueline Unanue's current paintings series originated from my method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing,…

Jacqueline Unanue's current paintings series originated from my method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing, to evoke a primal mode of communication.…

Jacqueline Unanue's current paintings series originated from my method of “calligraphic” painting: using spontaneous drawing, to evoke a primal mode of communication.…

Lynn Dunham

Interested in Paul Rand and Milton Glaser, I pursued graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. …

Interested in Paul Rand and Milton Glaser, I pursued graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. …

Interested in Paul Rand and Milton Glaser, I pursued graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. …

Michelle Marcuse

“Having found her voice as a sculptor, Michelle Marcuse builds on a modernist paradigm of the found object. While hedging…

“Having found her voice as a sculptor, Michelle Marcuse builds on a modernist paradigm of the found object. While hedging on global issues of repurposing and recycling materials she makes use of discards.…

“Having found her voice as a sculptor, Michelle Marcuse builds on a modernist paradigm of the found object. While hedging on global issues of repurposing and recycling materials she makes use of discards. With the inclusion…

Jessica Eldredge
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