Saturday, March 24, 2018

From Suburbia to China Heights and a New Standard..

I keep hearing about how galleries are closing; but new galleries are opening too and some rippers like China Heights just keep doing what they do and keep doing it well. So lets kick off with my first visit to Cement Fondu (CF) (website coming soon)  CF opened on the 10th of  this month with a beautifully curated group show SUBURBIA. This is a colourful show of installations, photography, ceramics, drawings and mixed media work on, you guessed it suburbia. Only the selection of artists and their own visions of suburbia while remaining somewhat familiar, will certainly shift your perception of what is suburbia, and how it is for some who are for whatever reason on the periphery. Pictured directly below is my portrait of Caroline Garcia - post Live Performance & floor talk at CF with House #7 by Garry Trinh as a background.
Portrait of Caroline Garcia - post Live Performance & floor talk at Cement Fondu Gallery Paddington, Sydney. Background image House #7 by Garry Trinh. Photography by Kent Johnson.
The post performance floor talk was actually really illuminating as to immigration and integration into Australian suburban society. It was during this talk that I realised that Garry Trinh's "Houses" represented a shuttering of suburban society to those new people moving in around them. I mean maybe it should have been obvious (but then I'm a white anglo Aussie) and the context of the show made this very clear! That said, the installation has a lot of whimsy bright colour and is an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience and I can't wait to see more shows from Cement Fondu!
Caroline Garcia - Live Performance & floor talk at Cement Fondu Gallery Paddington, Sydney. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Caroline Garcia - Live Performance & floor talk at Cement Fondu Gallery Paddington, Sydney. Photography by Kent Johnson.
SUBURBIA installation at Cement Fondu. Photography by Kent Johnson.
I've know of Disorder Gallery for a while now but have only just made it to two my first shows there. On NOW, the beautiful new show from Catherine Hourihan - dance inspired images with a contrast of youth and age, beautiful images and really lovely matte prints - you need to seem them on the walls, not on some glossy glowing screen!
Portrait of Catherine Hourihan at Disorder Gallery - dance inspired images with a contrast of youth and age, beautiful images and really lovely prints. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Attendees at Catherine Hourihan at Disorder Gallery - dance inspired images with a contrast of youth and age, beautiful images and really lovely prints. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Catherine Hourihan and friend at Disorder Gallery - dance inspired images with a contrast of youth and age, beautiful images and really lovely prints. Photography by Kent Johnson.
China Heights - Even after all these years attending an opening at CH still feels like like being part of some underground yet very cool art society. I'm not sure if that's because it seems way off peoples radar or they just can't handle the coolness factor! That said I think (not unlike the recently closed Black Eye) many of their artists seem to come from commercial design and advertising backgrounds - like Andy Warhol & Willem de Kooning did - but in Sydney that still seems to be a bit of a no-no to the art establishment. I enjoyed seeing "they used to call me" Rad Dan by Daniel R. Watkins on Friday night, the work reminding me a little of 1960's British Pop artist Richard Hamilton. CH have the slightly unusual practice of Friday openings followed by Sat/Sun only viewings so check the website first if you want to see the work.
"they used to call me" Rad Dan - Portrait of Daniel R. Watkins - China Heights Gallery. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Opening night, "they used to call me" Rad Dan - Daniel R. Watkins - China Heights Gallery.  Photography by Kent Johnson.
Phillippa Griffin and Sam Ramsden's The New Standard Gallery has been up and running for a little over a year now (I think). The Current show Brad Teodoruk, PROOF IS AN IDOL is a show that feels very much, one from a stable of artists coming from Sydney's strong art school traditions and I perhaps felt more my age at this opening than I do at CH! Lovely skilled painting, don't be fooled by the painting out and naive approach to form - it's anything but that..
Portrait of Brad Teodoruk, PROOF IS AN IDOL at The New Standard Gallery, Surry Hills Sydney. Photography by Kent Johnson.
And if you like the pictures on this blog; you can view them larger on my Street Fashion Sydney Facebook page here - and don't forget to Follow too - all of these shots without the review appeared there first.

https://www.facebook.com/StreetFashionSydney/
http://cementfondu.org/
https://www.disordergallery.com/
https://chinaheights.com/
http://www.thenewstandardgallery.com/

Telling Stories in Pictures all over..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863
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