MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context 2013

Hayden-Fowler_new-world-orderOver summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will showcase a diverse selection of newly acquired artworks by contemporary Australian artists.

New Acquisitions in Context 2013 brings together an exciting selection of works recently acquired by the Museum with artworks from the existing MCA and JW Power Collections. Celebrating the diversity of contemporary artistic practice, the exhibition features work by 28 Australian and international artists ranging across media from painting and photography to moving image and installation.

Presented across both the Level 1 North and South Galleries, New Acquisitions in Context 2013 provides an insight into the development of the Collection, introducing audiences to new works acquired over the past year as well as providing an opportunity for visitors to revisit old favourites and make new discoveries.

Key exhibition highlights include Imants Tillers’ Tabula Rasa (for my father) (2011), Judith Wright’s Relative Conversations (2006), Khadim Ali’s The Haunted Lotus (2011-12), Tracey Moffatt’s First Jobs (2008) and Hayden Fowler’ s New World Order (2013).

New Acquisitions in Context 2013 draws together very different artworks that explore multiple ideas. One key theme in the exhibition is an exploration of landscape in its various forms, real and imagined, sacred and suburban.

Imants Tillers’ Tabula Rasa (for my father) (2011), Mike Parr’s Inclined Perspective Wedge (Riverbed) (1995), Simryn Gill’s Untitled (Interior) II (2008) and Shaun Gladwell’s Broken Hill Linework (2007) all consider concepts of landscape and its manifestation within history, culture and contemporary life.

Khadim Ali’s The Haunted Lotus (2011-12), Judith Wright’s Relative Conversations (2006) and Dorothy Napangardi’s Sandhills (2004) reflect on how the land, the sacred and the body are represented across different cultures and forms.

Another connection that runs throughout the exhibition is the investigation of dream states, nightmares and the influence of Surrealism, as seen in Ben Armstrong’s Old Friends (2004), Peter Booth’s Painting (1982), and Stephen Birch’s The Trip (2005).

An exploration of the medium of collage, light and painting is also explored in unique ways by artists such as Juan Davila, Nicholas Folland and Emma White.

Collecting is one of the Museum’s core functions and plays a key role in its exhibitions, touring projects, learning programs, online platforms and publications. In 2003 the MCA re-launched its Collection Policy focusing on the acquisition of recent work by living Australian artists, building on strengths within the Collection and reflecting new areas of artistic activity.

A number of works featured in New Acquisitions in Context 2013 have been acquired through the newly established MCA Foundation, which directly supports the acquisition and commission of artworks for the MCA Collection.

Featured artists include: Ian Abdulla, Khadim Ali, Howard Arkley, Ben Armstrong, Peter Booth, Stephen Birch, Pat Brassington, Lauren Brincat, Peter Booth, Juan Davila, Phillip Faulks, Nicholas Folland, Hayden Fowler, Rosalie Gascoigne, Simryn Gill, Shaun Gladwell, Newell Harry, Fiona Lowry, Tracey Moffatt, Dorothy Napangardi, Mike Parr, Gloria Petyarre, Imants Tillers, Walala Tjapaltjarri, Ulay and Marina Abramovic, Louise Weaver, Emma White and Judith Wright.

MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context 2013 is curated by MCA Curator Anna Davis and MCA Assistant Curator Megan Robson, and runs from 12 December 2013 to 23 February 2014. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Hayden Fowler, New World Order, 2013, Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with the assistance of MCA Young Ambassadors, 2013, image courtesy  the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney © the artist