2009 /13 | Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO, MCA Sydney

Title: Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2009, Woollongong City Gallery, 2011, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, 2011, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, 2012, Tweed River Art Gallery, 2012, Drill Hall Gallery ANU, 2013
Curated by Glenn Barkley

Title: ‘1919’
Material: acrylic/canvas, four panels
Dimension: 228 cm x 224 cm overall
Date: 1984
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Title: ‘Sphinx’
Material: industrial acrylic/canvas
Dimension: 122 cm x 244 cm
Date: 1975
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia



Installation view MCA Australia, left, Richard Dunn, ‘1919’, 1984, right, 
Mikala Dwyer, Wall sculpture, 2002

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‘1919’, 1984

Installation view, MCA Australia, 2012,  Sydney: Callum Innes, Richard Dunn

Installation view, MCA Australia, left, Callum Innes, right, Richard Dunn

Sphinx 1975

Sphinx 1975

Almanac is an exhibition that provides an extraordinary road map of Australian art practice over the last 50 years, shaped by the vision of one of Australia’s best regarded collectors and arts supporters, Ann Lewis AO. Ann Lewis worked tirelessly throughout her lifetime to raise the profile of Australian artists abroad, and to bring international artists to local audiences. Her roles as collector, philanthropist and gallerist led to the development of a collection built at the forefront of cultural production and mirrors the deeply personal relationships Ann Lewis enjoyed with a diverse array of artists. Tracing changes in taste, influence, styles and ideas, Almanac reflects a collection with depth and currency. Veering across time and location, it is comprised of paintings, photographs sculptures, ceramics and prints including several works that are on public display for the first time.

The exhibition begins with abstract painting by modernist Ralph Balson, and later works by John Firth-Smith and Richard Dunn, and continues through to more recent works by Aboriginal artists from remote regions. The diversity of materials and approaches is reflected in the media and methods employed by the artists – from Robert Klippel’s delicately teetering metal sculptures to Hany Armanious’ hotmelt sculptures that solidify the negative spaces of various wine glasses. Similarly works by Rosalie Gascoigne and Neil Roberts use found objects that carry the aura of their history.

Hany Armanious, Ralph Balson, Curley Barduguba, Ian Burns, Robert Ambrose Cole, Timothy Cook, Richard Dunn, Mikala Dwyer, John Firth-Smith, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Rosalie Gascoigne, Callum Innes, Kitty Kantilla, Robert Klippel, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ildiko Kovacs, Rosemary Laing, Jon Lewis, Marrirra Marawili, George Milwulurrurr, Rosella Namok, Dorothy Napangardi, Jimmy Ngalakurn, Bobby Barrdjaray Nganmirra, Robert Owen, Gloria Petyarre, Robert Rauschenberg, Neil Roberts, Lola Ryan, Ricky Swallow, Walala Tjapaltjarri, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Wukun Gathinikpa Wanambi, Judy Watson, Louise Weaver, Timothy Wulanjbirr and Anne Zahalka. (MCA)