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Monsters, sensory encounters, samurai and surrealism at the AGSA


An “art as experience” winter exhibition featuring large installations and sensory works and a showcase of surreal art by brothers Dušan and Voitre Marek are among highlights of the Art Gallery of SA’s 2020 program revealed today.

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The first major event of the year, opening in February, will be the previously announced 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, curated by Leigh Robb and featuring the work of 23 contemporary artists.

Over winter, the gallery will present Phenomena: Art as experience, which will trace the experiential turn in international art practice and offer audiences the chance to experience “moments of immersion and encounter” through installations and sensory works of art.

It will feature works such as Japanese contemporary artist Aki Inomata’s two-minute video Think Evolution #1: Kiku-ishi (Ammonite), in which an octopus has an encounter with a 3D-printed replica ammonite shell.

Artists represented in Phenomena will also include Olafur Eliasson, Jitish Kallat, Yukultji Napangati and Ernesto Neto, with the works on show to be presented as a series of interconnecting experiences.

Other exhibitions announced today are:

Dušan and Voitre Marek: Surrealists at sea (November): the first major Australian survey of art by Czech-Australian brothers Dušan and Voitre Marek, who arrived in Adelaide in 1948 and challenged the conventions of Australian art with their ideas.

Voitre Marek’s My Gibraltar, 1948, on board SS Charlton Sovereign, oil on wood; d’Auvergne Boxall Bequest Fund 1996, AGSA.

Seeing Through Darkness (August): A performance project directed by Restless Dance Theatre artistic director Michelle Ryan which responds to the work of Expressionist artist Georges Rouault and will be presented during the SALA Festival.

Samurai (May): A display illustrating how the ethos and tastes of the Samurai warriors permeated Japanese art and culture from the 13th to 19th centuries, and featuring items ranging from tea bowls to opulent golden screens and armour.

The Tarnanthi celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art will return in October, with the 2020 exhibition to highlight the work of senior women artists.

“From monsters to sensory encounters, samurai to surrealism – 2020 promises to be a year of experiences like no other at the Art Gallery of South Australia,” says AGSA director Rhana Devenport.

2020 Adelaide Biennial artists Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari’s Internal Interior, 2019, Perth, silicon, ceramic, hair, sperm whale tooth, wood, paper, 120 x 180 x 15cm; courtesy the artists. Photo: Erin Coates

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