02.08.2019 – 14.09.2019

an unreliable narrator
Consuelo Cavaniglia + Brendan van Hek
Opening: Friday 2 August
Exhibition dates: 3 Aug - 21 Sep

Gertrude Contemporary is pleased to announce the inaugural River Capital Commission, a new annual commissioning initiative, developed in partnership with and through the generous support of River Capital. This new partnership will enable Gertrude to work with leading artists or collaboratives to commission a major new project to be presented as a flagship exhibition within our artistic program.

For the River Capital Commission 2019, Gertrude is honoured to be working with Consuelo Cavaniglia and Brendan Van Hek, working in collaboration to produce and present an unreliable narrator.  

An unreliable narrator is the most substantial institutional exhibition to date by Sydney-based artists Consuelo Cavaniglia and Brendan Van Hek, and their first major collaboration together. The exhibition holds the task of working in collaboration as a key conceptual anchor, exploring the nature of duality from both a spatial perspective in terms of the gallery architecture at Gertrude, but also, and importantly, the alignment of two intellectual perspectives, two approaches to the development of narrative, and two distinct artistic practices. It is from this process of attempting to synergise these perspectives, or rather, to concede their differing viewpoints and embrace such pluralism, that the exhibition adopts its title, an unreliable narrator. Working across the two gallery spaces and expansive atrium of Gertrude, the exhibition is conceived as a single work, and will unfold as a series of repeated scenarios, like versions of the same story, told and retold from slightly divergent perspectives. Each of these scenarios will present variations to the narrative – be it through form, material or scale – so as to set forth a collection of propositions without necessitating a delineation of hierarchy or authority. 

While Cavaniglia’s practice holds concerns for the perception and understanding of space – personal, psychological, architectural and environmental – and how we both exist, and appear to exist within spatial environments, Van Hek’s practice is embedded within and informed by personal narratives, cultural politics and the proposition of and dismantlement of fictions. Both artists share an astute attention to refined production, material austerity and the cognitive and perceptual effects of colour and light, respectively explored principally through sculpture and installation. an unreliable narrator will envelop all of the public spaces at Gertrude, creating an immersive environment that amplifies and calls into question the architecture of the building and collapses the delineation between the internal realm of the gallery spaces and the external public environment.

Consuelo Cavaniglia was born in Rome, Italy, and lives and works in Sydney. Selected recent solo exhibitions include: between and among objects, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2018); the light that catches, Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney (2017); the distant other, STATION, Melbourne (2016); in the distance a pool of light was not what it seemed, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2015); and what we know of each other, Sydney College of the Arts Gallery (2015). Selected recent group exhibitions include: IN-Formalism, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney (2019); The Theatre is Lying: The inaugural Macfarlane Commissions, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2018); Vanishing Point, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney (2018); The Shape of Memory, The Lock-Up Contemporary Art Space, Newcastle (2017); Black Square – 100 Years (1913 – 1915), tcb inc., Melbourne (2015); Arts NSW Visual Art Fellowship (Emerging), Artspace, Sydney (2016); and Bliss, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Perth (2013). 

Consuelo Cavaniglia is represented by STATION, Melbourne and Sydney; and Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney.

Brendan Van Hek was born in Perth, and lives and works in Sydney. Selected recent solo exhibitions include: the continual condition, Turner Galleries, Perth (2017); the scene was set, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (2017); Colour Restraint (in collaboration with Rebecca Baumann), Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2015); Untitled (in collaboration with Rebecca Baumann), Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2015); and Some Kind of Love Story, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2011). Selected recent group exhibitions include: Autoluminiscent, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo (2019); Superposition of three types, Artspace, Sydney (2017); Amour Fou, New Westminster New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2015); Becoming: Worlds In Flux, C24 Gallery, New York, USA (2012); Shifting Geometries, The Australian Embassy, Washington DC, USA (2012); NEW11, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2011); REMIX, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2011); and TarraWarra Contemporary 2010, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2010).

Brendan Van Hek is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney. 

The River Capital Commission is a new initiative developed in partnership with River Capital, a Melbourne-based investment firm with a commitment to investor and community success.

05.10.2019 – 09.11.2019

Hope Dies Last: Art at the End of Optimism
Curated by Mark Feary

Gertrude Contemporary Opening: Friday 4 October, 6-8pm
Exhibtion dates Gertrude Contemporary: Saturday 5 October - Saturday 9 November

Margeret Lawrence Opening: Thursaday 17 October, 5.30—7.30pm
Exhibtion dates Margaret Lawrence Gallery: Friday 18 October— Thursday 14 November

Hope Dies Last: Art at the End of Optimism is a curated exhibition of Australian and international contemporary art presented across two sites, Gertrude Contemporary and the Margaret Lawrence Gallery at the Victorian College of the Arts. The project focuses on how artists consider the depletion of optimism, how they might envisage the end of days, and how they make sense of these tumultuous times. The project brings together works by leading Australian and international artists, as if to choreograph a collective swan song of lament. Exploring themes of mortality, fatalism, extinction, pain (both emotional and physical), failure and downfall, the works largely focus on the specific moment when hope evaporates for the final time. Explored with compassion, humour, sadness and resignation, Hope Dies Last confronts our individual and collective anxieties around death, reminding us that we will all destined for this certainty, yet each of us will experience that moment alone. Hope Dies Last will be one of the most depressing events of the year, an exhibition that will riddle us with sadness, and likely leave us more pessimistic than we have ever been before. 

Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Arts Festival and Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts.

More information coming soon...

22.11.2019 – 21.12.2019

Gertrude Studios 2019
Opening Friday 22 Nov, 6-8pm.
Artists: Kay Abude, Andrew Atchison, James Nguyen, Andrew Liversidge, Steaphan Paton, Jahnne Pasco White, Mikala Dwyer, Isadora Vaughan, Eugenia Lim, Joseph L. Griffiths, Spiros Panigirakis, Georgina Cue, Sam George + Lisa Radford, Georgia Banks, Ann Debono, Jason Phu.

Gertrude concludes the year with its annual Gertrude Studios exhibition, presenting new and recent works and projects being produced within the 16 studios of the organisation. The exhibition enables a collective snapshot of the practices supported within the program, offering the opportunity to experience a broad diversity of works from leading arts practitioners in Melbourne.