Bringing together key works with a number of ambitious new commissions including interventions to the museum’s architecture, Buxton Contemporary presents Around – a major exhibition by Melbourne-based artist Nadine Christensen, representing her first career survey to date.
Curated by Samantha Comte, Senior Curator, Art Museums at the University of Melbourne, the exhibition explores the enduring nature of painting as well as its complex legacy, which has been at the core of Christensen’s practice for more than twenty years.
“This exhibition demonstrates Nadine Christensen’s deep commitment to painting and to pushing its perceived spatial and perceptual limits, as well as her ongoing exploration of the inextricable tangle of art and life,” said Comte. “Around is an opportunity to make a timely contribution to the dialogue around the ongoing relevance of painting practice.”
Christensen has long engaged with notions of the everyday, explored through the conventions of still life tradition and through her compositing of found objects.
In gleaning what is seemingly incidental and overlooked from her immediate environment; studio, home, neighbourhood, op shops and the like, Christensen reflects on the fragility and precarity of life as well as human resourcefulness and adaptability, which she recognises as often being found at the fringes or periphery.
Around will feature over 70 paintings ranging from 1998–2023, including a new series of ambitiously scaled paintings, and rarely seen works from private lenders. Christensen will also present several major sculptural works, including large-scale audience-activated kinetic works.
The exhibition begins with two new works presented on the exterior of the Museum – a film and a gate. Filmed in one continuous shot, the film shows the artist walking around a suburban backyard picking up after her dog. Presented on the external screen of the museum, this banal everyday activity loops over and over.
Directly underneath this work is a gate adhered to the existing gate of the museum. Sourced from hard rubbish in the artist’s neighbourhood, this gate has been restored and painted sky blue. The video and gate refer to the intersection of the everyday that informs the artist’s practice.
“The exciting scale of Buxton Contemporary has allowed me to place old and new paintings together for the first time, celebrating the friction, uncertainty and serendipity that percolate in my art, work and life,” said Nadine Christensen.
“I’ve also been able to use this survey opportunity to make site-specific works that link the interior spaces of the museum to the exterior, installing found objects and bootleg videos to bring the granular of the everyday into the exhibition, and build on the lineage of kinetic and sonic interruptions in my practice.”
A major publication will accompany the exhibition, representing the most comprehensive publication on the artist to date, including newly commissioned essays by curator and researcher Rosemary Forde and novelist, screenwriter, art critic and former editor of the London-based contemporary arts magazine, Frieze, Jennifer Higgie.
Nadine Christensen: Around
Buxton Contemporary, Corner Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street, Southbank
Exhibition: 24 November 2023 – 7 April 2024
For more information, visit: www.buxtoncontemporary.com for details.
Image: Nadine Christensen, Pistachio Dreaming, 2003, acrylic on board – courtesy of Susan Jones