From grunge to techno, identity politics to cyborg culture, Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s will explore the cultural phenomena of a decade through the lens of art when the exhibition opens at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia on 2 June 2017.
“Every Brilliant Eye will explore the complex cultural landscape of Australia in the 1990s, highlighting both the increasingly diverse approaches to art-making of that decade, and the artist’s innovative use of emerging technologies,” says Tony Ellwood, Director NGV.
Taking its name from the 1990 album by Australian rock band Died Pretty, Every Brilliant Eye will feature over 100 works in various media from the NGV Collection, as well as selected ephemera relating to various artist collectives, artist run spaces and subcultures that emerged in the 1990s.
Exhibition highlights include a room dedicated to the club culture of the 1990s, featuring a music video by the multidisciplinary artist Maria Kozic, as well as examples of club-inspired fashion and textiles by Leigh Bowery, Peter Tully and design studio Abyss.
Artworks representing the grunge aesthetic include sculptures by Kathy Temin and Ricky Swallow, prints by Kristin Headlam, and an installation by the Melbourne art collective DAMP which features a video of group members simulating a physical fight at their exhibition opening in 1999, destroying their own installation.
Changing notions around identity are highlighted in many of the artworks on display. Photographic works by Patricia Piccinini illustrate an interest in cyborgs and the post-human future. The influence of third wave feminism can be seen in artworks by Annette Bezor, Tracey Moffatt and Anne Ferran. Artists including Gordon Bennett, Juan Davila and Constanze Zikos explore Australian national identity and reappraise the ways in which history is documented and retold.
There will also be art works by the three Indigenous women artists who represented Australia at the Venice Biennale of 1997 – Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Yvonne Koolmatrie and Judy Watson – taking contemporary Indigenous Australian art to the world stage.
Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 2 June – 1 October 2017
For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Ricky Swallow, Model for a sunken monument, 1999. synthetic polymer paint on composition board, 108.2 x 222.0 x 242.2 cm (overall). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of the Joan Clemenger Endowment, Governor, 1999 © Ricky Swallow, courtesy Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney