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Go Figure! - reframing the ‘figurative’


Manly Art Gallery & Museum is hosting a stunning new exhibition (19 February – 27 March 2016) celebrating the human body as a source of inspiration, as symbolism, as the focus of curiosity and as the hallmark of beauty, a representation of form that speaks of time, place and culture.

Titled Go figure! - reframing the ‘figurative’ from within the collection, this exciting exhibition draws from the works of thirty-one artists within Manly Art Gallery & Museum’s collection, including Arthur Streeton, Nora Heysen, Brian Dunlop, Max Dupain, Olive Cotton, Bill Leak, Garry Shead, Guan Wei, William Dobell, Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, Arthur Murch, Auguste Renoir, Brett Whiteley, Thea Proctor, Nora Heysen and George Lambert.

Go Figure! reframes the context in which we view these works while inviting new perspectives from which to appreciate this extraordinary and eclectic collection of artworks,” said guest exhibition curator Leana Julian.

“This exhibition also provides an opportunity to contemplate connections and to view these works in a refreshing, new light.”

“It explores representations of the human form and notions of gender through a range of media and styles.”

Some artists within the exhibition represent themselves from ‘within’ through self-portraits or, as Rodney Milgate has done, by finding new and expressive ways to represent their experience of their own bodies.

Within Go Figure!, modernist painters such as David Strachan and Rah Fizelle challenge the underlying form and structure of the human figure while exploring new directions in colour and composition.

Contemporary Australian artist Guan Wei’s work brings whimsy and playfulness to the figure, with political references to Australia’s immigration and indigenous policies.

Female artists such as Olive Cotton, Paola Talbert and Robyn Lees represent the body in ways that offer alternatives to the conventional view of a male audience. 

The photographic works of Max Dupain, Frank Bell and Roger Scott explore the body within a social and cultural context, in and around the beaches of Manly.

Past Events

April 2009:

From 12 June until 19 July 2009, Manly Art Gallery & Museum will host 'White Heat', the Biennial exhibition of the Australian Ceramics Association. The show is curated by Dr Julie Bartholomew and presents recent works of the members of the Australian Ceramics Association.

From 16 to 20 July 2009, the Australian Ceramics Trienniale 09 will be held in Sydney for the first time in 20 years. Under the title Facing the Future, the international conference will concentrate on the relationship between contemporary ceramic practice and the emergence of diverse social, cultural and technological global forces.

The Australian Ceramics Triennale's three broad themes are Facing Asia, Future Practice and Activate/Cultivate, bringing together ceramicists, educators, collectors and writers to discuss, debate and exchange ideas. The conference includes a series of workshops and demonstrations by national and international ceramics artists. Galleries, museums and educational institutions throughout New South Wales will participate by presenting exhibitions and collections. The main venue is the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney. You'll find more information on their website australianceramicstriennale.com

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