MONA (MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART) PRESENTS:
THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING // AUSTRALIA 2017
OPENS 10TH JUNE 2017 + ENDS 2ND APRIL 2018
The venue is Mona: the groundbreaking Tasmanian institution dedicated to new definitions of historic and contemporary art. Mona has invited The Museum of Everything for an unprecedented 10 month stay and, somewhat unsurprisingly, The Museum of Everything has said yes.
With over 100 artists and almost 2,000 artworks – ranging from 1800 to the present day – the high-profile production will be the largest international exhibition of non-academic art ever staged in Australia, New Zealand or wider Australasia.
The innovative layout, which captures the feel of a discovered home-museum, has been designed and themed by The Museum of Everything, in conjunction with award-winning movie production designer Eve Stewart, and Mona’s team of artists, artisans, designers and fabricators.
Within this new riverfront home, the project juxtaposes paintings, drawings, sculpture and objects, creating a vivid journey through an alternative art history and into matters both of life and death.
Among the many self-taught masters on display, highlights include Victor Kulikov, the former head-teacher, whose daily weather chronicle was discovered during the museum’s 2012 tour of Russia.
Another fountainhead is self-titled visionary architect Paul Laffoley, represented by several works, including his infamous masterpiece Das Urpflanze Haus: a future ecological home, grown from genetically-modified ginkgo biloba trees.
Legends of what the artist Jean Dubuffet defined as art brut are here too: early drawings and letters by Swiss polymath Adolf Wölfli, the anonymous stone carvings known as Les Barbus Müller collected by Tristan Tzara and André Breton, and faked flint-stone proofs of Neanderthal art, peddled by Polish nobleman, Juva.
Science and mathematics play a significant role. From the predictive calculations of Kentucky-born savant George Widener, to the personal talismans of Melvin Way, numbers evolve as pathways to wisdom and certainty: be they the thickly-painted theorems of modernist Alfred Jensen, or the inventions of French patent king, Jean Perdrizet.
Studios for artists with communication issues lend international and contemporary relevance. Text-based works by California’s Dan Miller, Osaka’s Kunizo Matsumoto and Hamburg’s Harald Stoffers offer alternative uses for everyday language. These provide an elegant contrast to physical three-dimensional works, like the giant flying cities of Hans-Jörg Georgi or the majestic yarn sculptures of Judith Scott – whose oeuvre, along with Miller’s, is currently being curated in this year’s Venice Biennale.
The Museum of Everything sees art-making as inherent human behaviour. Hence the abstracted spirit drawings of two pioneering female artists – Sweden’s Hilma af Klint and Britain’s Georgiana Houghton – whose 19th century mark-making anticipated 20th century modernism. Their beliefs are mirrored by later activators, like the futurist cathedrals of Parisian road-worker Marcel Storr, or the monumental Last Supper of Perth electrician, Stan Hopewell.
As with other multi-part projects, the exhibition at Mona devotes space to monographic assemblies. Chinese spirit-scribe Guo Fengyi, Haitian metal-worker Georges Liautaud and meat-slicing moonraker Charles Dellschau are defined by their own bespoke worlds. Another climax is an environment devoted to panoramic tale-teller, Henry Darger, whose perverse, complex and tremendously moving sequences depict his fractured – and often misinterpreted – childhood.
African and African-American makers are an intrinsic part of the narrative. Alongside the flavourful portraits of local story-teller Sam Doyle sits the acknowledged tour-de-force of limestone carver William Edmondson: a piece once (mis)described as Adam and Eve, but today recognised to be a reference to his own Egyptian ancestry.
A rarely-seen cabinet designed and carved by enslaved craftsman William Howard is echoed by the inky silhouettes of legendary street-caricaturist Bill Traylor. A few steps away, the prayer tablets of Sister Gertrude Morgan speak of her unremitting faith.
A radically different approach to the divine is evidenced in a series of Madonnas by Swiss anti-formalist Hans Scharer. Or in the devilishly erotic photographs of Hollywood outcast, William Mortenson. Turn a corner only to be confronted by four anatomically correct dolls by a most unusual family man, Morton Bartlett.
Yet these are only a handful of the artists on display. For a complete list, please click HERE or come to visit the show yourself … for instructions, for flights click HERE and places to stay, click HERE.
|If you want to submit an artwork to The Museum of Everything while we are in Australia, please click HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
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